Are you trying to get a conservatorship for someone with dementia? Nearly 50% of people over the age of 85 suffer from some form of dementia.  Dementia can become severe and result in a person being unable to care for themselves.  Unfortunately, when a person with dementia loses the ability to care for him/herself, a family member or some other person may need to intervene and set up a four conservatorship. If you have a family member suffering from dementia, here is some important information you need to know.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general word for a medical condition often suffered by the aging and elderly. It is a term associated with a person’s decline in mental ability that is severe enough to interfere with their daily life. For example, memory loss is an example of what happens when a person has dementia. In this regard, Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.

A person with dementia is vulnerable to financial exploitation, and could lose his/her life savings to a criminal.  Sometimes a person with dementia refuses to stop driving, not only putting him/herself at risk, but potentially endangering the lives of other drivers and pedestrians. A person suffering from dementia can refuse to eat a stable diet, putting their own health at risk. Over time, the risks of harm may increase and, as a result, a family member or some other person may need to get a court conservatorship for someone with dementia.

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A conservator is someone with the legal right to make decisions for another adult, similar to a parent/child relationship.  As an illustration, a conservatorship for someone with dementia allows someone else to make decisions about a person’s living conditions and can authorize medical treatments.  Alternatively, a conservator could move a person with dementia into an assisted living facility with round the clock care.  In addition, a conservatorship for someone with dementia may allow a person to control the finances of an incapacitated person and make sure that they do not squander his/her savings in a scam.  Often, the same person applying for court conservatorship acts as both conservator of a person and their finances.

Ideally, in the early stages of a dementia diagnosis, a person who has early dementia can create a plan while they are still competent.  This plan should include a long-term strategy for finances.  For example, the dementia patient can choose someone to act as their power of attorney, which gives someone similar authority as a conservator but without needing a formal court conservatorship.  However, if the person doesn’t create a plan before they become legally incapacitated, it may be necessary to file a conservatorship for someone with dementia.

How to File a Conservatorship for Someone With Dementia

Filing for conservatorship requires preparing a lot of paperwork. A conservatorship for someone with dementia requires filing a petition, an investigation, and a court hearing.  An investigation and hearing are essential because a person is losing his/her rights to make decisions about his/her own life, and this right cannot be taken away without due process.  The hearing also makes sure that the appointed conservator will act in the best interest of the person.  A potential conservator must prove to the judge that he/she will use the conservatee’s funds appropriately.

After a conservator is appointed, he/she will be required to make annual reports to the court.  Appointing a conservator for a person with dementia is a serious matter and should only be used a last resort.   A conservatorship for someone with dementia may be the only option to make sure that a person who has dementia who has lost the ability to decide for themselves can live as safe, healthy, and financially stable lifestyle as possible.

Filing a conservatorship for someone with dementia can be an expensive process using an attorney. There are other less expensive non-attorney options to get through this court process. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to get a conservatorship for someone with dementia.

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