When is a Guardianship Needed?

Often times, individuals come to our workplace looking for assistance about how to deal with a relative whose erratic or eccentric habits is triggering issue.

Where do you draw the line in between being eccentric and needing intervention?
It’s time to step in when there is genuine physical threat– when a person’s habits has put him or her in a state that might cause genuine harm.

For example, a woman lives alone in her home and declines to come out, does not eat correctly, and does not take recommended medication. The house is extremely filthy and chaotic. That kind of behavior with no type of intervention would cause death.
Or perhaps a male wanders out in the middle of the night in his pajamas when it is 20 degrees outside. He does not know where he is and does not keep in mind where his house is. That type of habits would put him in risk.

It’s time to step in when somebody has a mental-health issue– typically dementia– that has resulted in hazardous habits. It is not unusual for a person with dementia to act out in a violent manner because of fear and delusion. He or she may physically attack a spouse or caregiver.
It’s time to step in when an individual has actually shown a severe absence of judgment when it pertains to money and is at threat for becoming impoverished. This is frequently an individual who has actually been the victim of some sort of monetary abuse. Perhaps a member of the family or somebody who’s been given access to the individual’s bank account has actually taken cash from the account. Maybe a dishonest individual has deceived the individual.

What about an individual who addicted to a home shopping program on television? Is that a factor to step in?
But if she is spending what she can pay for and even a little more– well we have actually all been silly. We might not like what the person is finishing with his or cash, however we have to bear in mind that a qualified person does can spend his/her cash. It is really challenging for adult kids to see their moms and dads doing something that the moms and dads would have told them was stupid.

One thing to be conscious of is behavior that is uncharacteristic. Say if Mommy has never provided extravagant gifts and has actually always been evenhanded with presents to her kids. All of a sudden among her children is driving a Porsche that he says Mother provided him as a gift. This might be an indication that something is amiss. Does Mom remember giving him the vehicle? Is she totally conscious of what she is doing or is she confused?
The time to act is when the habits is putting a person at risk for going through all his/her money and having absolutely nothing left to reside on. These are all great examples of circumstances where a guardianship must be checked out.

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