Signs that your loved one’s mental processes are slowing down can be subtle. You may notice more and more that he or she repeats themselves or can’t remember where they left an item or parked the car. Over time, these symptoms can worsen to the point that you have real concerns for your loved one’s safety. Once you have reached this point, it is important to know what options are available. Here are some considerations regarding what to do when your loved one is losing capacity.
Get Medical Advice
First and foremost, if you are worried that someone you care about is suffering from a mental impairment, it is vital that he or she receives prompt and appropriate medical attention. If your loved one has already been evaluated and is under the care of a physician, you should let the provider know of any new developments with his or her symptoms.
Powers of Attorney
If your loved one is still able to participate in planning for their needs, now is a good time to consider preparing powers of attorney. These legal documents will allow your loved one to name someone to make decisions regarding his or her medical care and financial requirements should he or she become incapacitated. Additionally, if your loved one is a recipient of Social Security, they may want to consider naming another person to be their representative payee to receive these funds on their behalf.
When a loved one’s cognitive functioning has become so impaired as to render them incapable of making decisions, you may have to petition the California probate court for conservatorship. You will essentially be asking the court to appoint you or another person to make decisions regarding your loved one’s physical care and financial interest. Conservatorship is a formal legal process and can be complicated, especially if your loved one does not agree it is required. If you believe a conservatorship may be necessary, it is imperative that you consult with a California probate attorney as soon as possible to discuss the situation.
At the Law Office of Alice Salvo, we understand the issues which can arise when a loved one is experiencing challenges with his or her capacity and can help you examine your options. Contact us today for a free consultation.