Guardianship involves one person assuming legal authority over and practical responsibility for another person. Although many people associate guardianship with children, adults can sometimes require the support of a guardian because of age or significant health issues.
Certain medical conditions have a strong correlation with requiring outside support for daily living needs. If you or someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed with one of the three conditions below, the chances of meeting a guardianship eventually may be higher than for those without such a diagnosis.
Perhaps the most well-known disease associated with aging, Alzheimer’s disease can leave someone who was once competent and independent incapable of taking care of themselves. The sooner after a diagnosis that a person starts planning for their future, the less likely they are to need an involuntary guardianship if their cognitive ability eventually declines significantly.
Schizophrenia and similar mental health disorders
Many people with mental health issues can manage their own lives with minimal outside support, but not everyone is that fortunate. Some people with conditions that affect their daily functioning or ability to make decisions may need the support of a guardian to protect them from their worst symptoms.
Strokes and similar neurological events
When someone suffers a stroke or a similar neurological medical event, they may have permanent limitations on their cognition, function or independence.
Family members who are coping with the fallout of any of these medical issues may need to seek a guardianship so that they can protect a loved one who is incapable of consistently meeting their own needs.