Will Guardianship Enable Moving Senior to Assisted Living?

 In Long-Term Care Planning

Question:

My mother is wheel chair bound, has some dementia and is on oxygen. My father just passed away and was her caregiver. We want to move her to an assisted living facility but she refuses. If we obtain guardianship and she still refuses how can it legally be enforced?

Response:

That’s an issue we often discuss with clients. Whether it’s moving to an assisted living facility or a nursing home or getting needed medical treatment, the guardianship gives you legal authority to make the decision but leaves open the question of you enforce that decision. In our experience, in many cases the person under guardianship agrees once the guardianship is in place. Once the guardian has legal authority or the court makes a direct order, the individual stops fighting.

Where that doesn’t work, you may be able to get the local police to help enforce the move. In your mother’s case, since she’s wheelchair bound you may simply be able to move her to her new residence in a chair car against her wishes.

Finally, sometimes these situations work out over time. The senior’s dementia increases to the point that she’s no longer fighting the move as effectively. Or she has a hospitalization that turns into a discharge to a new place to live. In some cases, the senior needs a temporary placement at a skilled nursing facility that becomes permanent.

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