Like anyone else in California, you want your parents to live out the rest of their days in comfort, peace and dignity. In an ideal situation, they would live independently as long as they could, with few physical and cognitive impairments. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for many senior citizens. Numerous age-related conditions, ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, can rob elderly people of their ability to make decisions on their own and to care for themselves.

In the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, your parents may still be able to live on their own, but you would likely worry about their wellbeing. They become more vulnerable to financial scams aimed at senior citizens, or even failing to take care of their physical needs, such as taking showers or going grocery shopping.

Naturally, you want to ensure your parents maintain their comfortable quality of life, receive their basic living essentials and are protected against financial exploitation. You may consider being granted power of attorney over your parents’ financial affairs. According to FindLaw, this grants you the authority to make decisions on their behalf. For example, you may decide to pay their bills, enroll them in a grocery delivery service and give them a small allowance to spend on themselves. If their incapacities become more severe, you can make further decisions on their care, including whether to move them to an assisted living facility.

Powers of attorney can be revocable, meaning the principal may revoke them by choice – this option may be helpful if your loved one expects to fully recover from an accident. A power of attorney can also be irrevocable, which may be better if the principal has an incurable and progressive condition, such as dementia. There are other power of attorney types that may better suit your situation. Therefore, this information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.