For most individuals, growing old is a blessing. As they age they are able to witness their kids and grandchildren grow and find their own successes. Many are able to bestow upon their loved ones gifts to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Establishing a person as the guardian of another individual is a complicated legal process. Many readers of this Massachusetts legal blog may be familiar with situations where courts grant adults guardianship rights over children who are in need of care. What they may not know is that in some situations guardians must be appointed for adults, particularly those who are aging and unable to take care of themselves.
Anyone who has had children or who has spent time with youths will be able to tell you just how fast their needs and requirements change. While an infant may need 24-hour care, support with eating and sleeping, and other significant types of help, a 7-year-old may be able to bathe themselves, eat their own meals, and conduct themselves responsibly while they are out of their home at school. What a child needs from its parents and caretakers will diminish significantly as the get older.
It can be a hard on a Massachusetts family to make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home. Many people would prefer to live in their own homes if they could, and families often look at all of their options to see if they can provide their loved ones with the care they need to live as independently as possible. When the option to live alone or with relatives is not possible, individuals may find themselves looking for nursing homes to provide them with their ongoing care.
When you are healthy and young, it can be easy to put estate planning and long-term care to the side. However, as we age - or our parents age - careful planning becomes necessary. If you, your spouse or a parent has health issues, this type of planning may become vitally important.
As a caregiver, you are not alone. There are millions of individuals across the U.S. who provide care for spouses, parents and loved ones. However, the level of care needed to look after a loved one with Alzheimer's, dementia and similar incapacitating conditions can take its toll on your own health.
When you have a power of attorney over an aging parent, it gives you the ability to make financial decisions in your parent's place. It does not give you absolute authority and power, however. If you take action without understanding your rights and responsibilities, you could put your own finances and your parent's estate at risk.
As your parents age, it may be become difficult for them to make decisions on their own. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Your mom or dad may develop dementia, Alzheimer's, aphasia or another type of neurological disorder. Your parent may be injured or develop an illness where they may not be able make financial or medical decisions.
After a serious accident or illness, you may not be able to care for your loved one on your own. It may become necessary to move your loved one into a nursing home. However, the cost of nursing home care in Massachusetts can be substantial.