A guardianship naturally does take away some of a person’s independence. It gives the other party the legal ability to act on their behalf. For instance, if an elderly person has a mental condition that means they can no longer take care of their financial affairs, the guardian may do so for them. This represents the loss of a right that the elderly person has held since they turned 18 and were no longer being cared for by their parents.
However, the goal of a guardianship is still to give that person as much independence as possible. Not all arrangements are the same. They’re set up on a case-by-case basis. Reasonable steps are taken to make sure that the elderly person gets the help that they need while still retaining all of the rights they can and getting to live in the fashion that they desire.
After all, the hope is that the guardianship will prove helpful. The person may lack the mental capacity to handle financial affairs or medical decisions, for instance. The guardian can keep them from going into foreclosure, falling into debt, failing to get proper medical care or making other mistakes that would lower their quality of life. The guardian is not attempting to take over; they’re attempting to help. They’re acknowledging the limitations that the other person has and stepping in to make sure that their life still moves smoothly.
In some cases, this focus can be hard for people to understand. They feel like they are just losing their rights and they don’t approve of it. It is very important to have conversations with your loved one about the goals you have and how you think this can improve their life, even as you look into the legal steps you need to take.