My CarePatrol office received a call from a frustrated daughter, stating that her dad was making stupid decisions. She wanted him declared “incompetent”. Mom had recently died, and dad was lavishing his new girlfriend with expensive meals and gifts. He also bought a sports car that was “inappropriate” for his age. The daughter was POA for her father, and she wanted control over his finances to protect her inheritance.
Family members might be frustrated with how an older person lives their life and spends their money, but that does not mean that a POA can simply take over decision-making ability for a parent, or have them declared incapacitated. Bad decisions are in the eye of the beholder, and people of any age are allowed to make “stupid” decisions. Having fun, being eccentric, taking lavish trips or buying expensive gifts may look like bad judgments to the daughter, but dad can spend his money as he sees fit and the courts will typically back him up.
Taking away a senior’s decision-making ability or legal capacity is a big deal. In cases of cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s, a court must determine if a person has the physical or mental ability to take action that has legal significance. If a child is concerned that a parent is persistently showing a pattern of decisions that may be harmful, it is possible to petition the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. A guardian can manage the medical and other personal affairs, and a conservator can manage the financial and legal matters.
Our CarePatrol office is a vast resource for elder care matters. We were able to organize a family meeting to discuss the situation to address everyone’s concerns. We brought in an elder care attorney to review dad’s estate planning, a CPA and a financial planner to review the finances, and a downsizing expert to organize the home. We also developed a 6-month plan to transition dad (and maybe the new girlfriend) to a senior living community that would allow them to address both dad’s health concerns and his desire to age in place.
Helping people make informed choices is what we do. We are also here to bring you hope, because we know the senior care industry, and no one is better at helping seniors and their families than Care Patrol.
Please call if you need help finding care for a senior. You can reach a local Senior Care Consultant at 866-560-5656.