Throughout most of your life, you count on your parents to guide you and show you the ways of the world, but at some point, in many families, these traditional roles reverse. As you age, your parents do the same, and you may start noticing that your mother or father is not quite as physically or mentally sharp as he or she once was. 

In some instances, per Forbes, a parent’s forgetfulness or reduced mental capacity may threaten his or her wellbeing, at which point you may want to consider establishing a legal guardianship over your parent. Guardianship-related decisions are rarely easy, and it may prove difficult to determine exactly when might be the right time to move forward with establishing such an arrangement. There are, however, certain signs that may indicate it is time to proceed. 

If, for example, your aging parent requires more care than you are able to provide, but he or she refuses entry into a nursing home, you may need to establish a guardianship in order to force his or her hand. Certain medical situations may, too, warrant establishing guardianship over a parent. If your parent is unable to consent to a particular procedure, or conversely, if your parent requires specific types of medications, among them certain antipsychotics, you may need a guardianship for health reasons. 

Chances are, you know your parent better than just about anyone, and if you have concerns about his or her decision-making ability, you may want him or her to sign a power of attorney. If your parent refuses to do so, though, and you suspect that he or she is no longer able to advocate for his or her own best interests, it may be time to move forward with a guardianship. Find more on this topic on our webpage.