Getting older comes with all kinds of medical consequences. People lose bone density, leaving them at greater risk for fractures. Aging adults lose muscle mass, flexibility and even their sense of balance sometimes.
All of those physical consequences can pale in comparison to what happens to people’s brains as they get older. Conditions like Alzheimer’s disease can push people to regress to a childlike state. Even those without a diagnosable disorder can still experience significant cognitive decline.
It can be very hard watching age affect your parents and diminish their independence. At some point, you may need to step up and asked the court to appoint you as guardian over them if they can’t take care of themselves. A Texas guardianship gives you the authority to make their major decisions and manage their finances. When might it be necessary for you to seek a guardianship?
When your parent starts to struggle with independent living
Both Alzheimer’s disease and generalized cognitive decline due to aging can affect someone’s memory. It is common for older adults who don’t have the daily structure of employment to lose track of the date or the day of the week. Such confusion can quickly lead to financial mistakes, like failing to pay a mortgage or other important bills.
Older adults may also struggle to manage their household, make medical decisions for themselves and otherwise handle their own needs. They could days without cleaning or showering. They could miss medical appointments. If your parent has had financial issues because they forgot to pay bills or if they have started avoiding medical treatments or socialization, those could be warning signs that they need support.
When a professional diagnoses your parent
Alzheimer’s disease is only one of many age-related conditions that could permanently end the ability of your parent to live on their own. Once a doctor diagnoses your loved one with a condition disabling enough to end their testamentary capacity, a guardianship may be necessary as your parent can no longer make legal or financial decisions on their own.
Knowing when you can ask for a guardianship in Texas can make you a better advocate for and support of your aging parent.