The Difference Among Elder Care Mediation, Guardianship and Conservatorship

When most people contemplate caring for their loved ones in their old age, they typically imagine simple scenarios. Sometimes they envision their elderly loved ones living at home with them and caring for them personally. Sometimes they already realize that a nursing home or other facility where they spend time with people their own age and receive expert care simultaneously is going to be the best option.

The truth is, aging life care is usually much more complicated, because all of the services the elderly come to require are expensive, and few people enter their old age with sufficient funds to pay for them for long periods of time without careful management. Preserving wealth, while assuring quality of life, can be complicated. Often these situations require the assistance of family members. Finding just the right mix, without compromising anyone’s dignity or ability to provide can be easily remedied with the assistance of an elder care mediator. An elder care mediator helps a disputing family resolve their differences by conducting an open dialogue and creating consensus among the family members as to the best plan for their parent.

Occasionally aged parents lose the ability to manage their own finances. In these situations, an elder care attorney may advise that you pursue either a guardianship or conservatorship. A guardianship grants you control over most of the personal affairs of a person, which can include finances but also many other aspects of their lives. A conservatorship is a more limited form of guardianship in some ways, with a clear focus on the financial aspects of the elderly person’s affairs.

Considerations in choosing which legal tool to pursue, if any, are the person’s mental state and lifestyle needs. If they are capable of making most choices for themselves, but simply lack the ability to manage their finances, a conservatorship may be sufficient to protect their assets. A guardianship is a much broader and more complex relationship, which should be considered carefully with an attorney’s assistance before being entered into. Finally, but not necessarily, the last step when a family finds themselves in turmoil in regard to opposing opinions as to the best path to follow, an elder care mediator can guide a neutral, confidential and open discussion which can lead to an agreeable solution.

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