May 4, 2009 -- Question: Do you have any suggestions for how to go about seeking guardianship of my loved one with Alzheimer's?
Answer: I, in my practice, see all the time, patients who are, over time, having issues with their memory where they can't take care of their own needs. And this is a very difficult, challenging time for children who are, of course, adults at this point now, to try to talk to their parents about now making that role change where the children are now taking care of the parents, and the parents are being taken care of.
So, the first step is to be able to, with a physician or a care provider, to be able to talk to both and talk about the importance. And what I often encourage people to do is first to share the responsibilities, so the parent does not feel threatened, which is the patient who has the dementia.
What you'll need to do is you'll need to contact a good attorney and start talking about these needs. And you'll need to get the financial and medical power of attorney, so you can not only take care of their medical needs, but pay for the bills and pay for finances, cash checks.
The lawyer's office will very often ask for a physician's note, so you provide that information and then help facilitate that process.