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CoVid Nursing Home Restrictions Present Special Challenges For Guardians

Guardianship is among the services that I have specialized training and experience to provide. Guardianship is a legal process whereby a court appoints a qualified individual the authority to make decisions on behalf of a person who is deemed to be legally incapacitated. The Guardian’s ward (the person I am appointed to protect) doesn’t have the capability to make decisions about his or her personal care or finances. The Guardian must protect the rights of the ward and allow the ward to function in the least restrictive setting without the danger of harm. The Guardian acts as the ward’s

Surrogate Decision-Maker
Coordinator and Monitor of Services
Financial Planner
Professional Practitioner

Appointment of a Guardian should only take place after less restrictive alternatives have been considered. Alternatives include

The designation of a Power of Attorney who has the right to make decisions if a person is incapacitated:

Representative payee
Advanced Directives
Limited or Temporary Guardianship

If none of the alternatives to Guardianship are appropriate for the ward, we are certified to act as Guardian of the Person or Guardian of the Estate.

Guardianship of the Person
The responsibilities of the Guardian of the Person include but are not limited to assessment of the ward’s needs, creating an appropriate Guardianship plan, choosing and monitoring appropriate living arrangements, and arranging for ancillary services. The Guardian has ongoing responsibilities such as monitoring care, authorizing or refusing medical treatment, promoting the well-being of the ward, and protecting the ward from harm.

Guardianship of the Estate
Likewise serving to protect the rights and best interests of his or her ward, the Guardian of the Estate manages the ward’s property and assets.

In some cases, a family member will step forward and take on Guardianship responsibilities. But there are times when a ward doesn’t have available family or a family member doesn’t want to act (or isn’t competent to act) as a Guardian. In other cases, family members might not be located in the same city or region as the ward, thus requiring nearby help.

I am a private Guardian. My fees are charged to a ward’s estate. My most recent appointment as Guardian of the Person came about in a rather strange way. I had been named Power of Attorney for Healthcare for an individual who had some serious health issues. However, he never had need to use my services as Power of Attorney. My client was taken to the hospital on an emergency basis and died suddenly. He had a brother who had been living with him who was obese, autistic, hypertensive, dependent upon a wheelchair, and lacking in proper socialization as a child. It was mentioned in my deceased client’s will that should anything happen to him, I should be named as his brother’s Guardian of the Person.

Upon my client’s passing, his brother was taken to the hospital. He was later discharged to a nursing home because the house was uninhabitable and he couldn’t take care of himself. I was then notified by an attorney of my deceased client’s wishes and appeared in court via Zoom to be appointed to the case by a judge.

I immediately called the nursing home and arranged a Zoom meeting with my new ward. When the activity director orchestrated the call, I found my ward in bed with a blanket over his face. He was basically non-communicative, much like Dustin Hoffman’s character in the 1988 film, Rain Man. My ward is prone to frequent outbursts and does not attend any activities. I now have the difficult job of judging whether this nursing home is the right place for my ward or whether he merely needs time and help to adjust to the loss of his brother and prior home life. Initially, it took the facility over 2.5 weeks to release my new ward’s medical records to me. I currently cannot enter the nursing home because of CoVid restrictions. However, I have received notifications from some of the nursing homes that limited visits are being allowed. This will be my next step in monitoring his care. The rest of the chapter remains to be written.

Do you need a second opinion? Let Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors help. Call us at (708) 415-2934 or email us. Please visit our website. Please watch my video to learn how the process works and learn what some clients have to say.

Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors
1497 Shire Circle
Inverness, IL 60067
Phone: 847.934.5303
Cell: 708.415.2934