Quality Home Health Care

Has Guardianship Become A Necessity For Your Elderly Parents?

Guardianship For Your Elderly Parents

Guardian For Your Elderly Parent

Does it seem like guardianship has become a necessity for your elderly parents? There are several situations in which guardianship is necessary to protect the rights and needs of senior citizens who fall under the category of a person unable to manage their own affairs:  those who are vulnerable to exploitation because of a lack of mental acuity; those who lack of access to finances; those with a need for the creation of or the amendment to a trust; or those who refuse to receive necessary medical care.

Guardianship is defined as the right for one person to make decisions for another, even if that person does not like these decisions. It is a serious undertaking because it significantly impacts a person’s rights. However, it can be powerfully protective if the incapacitated person does not know that they are incapacitated. The ward is the person who is being protected by the guardianship and the “appointee” is the person who has become responsible for the ward. Guardianship may be necessary if legal documents such as trusts or a durable power of attorney were not put into place before a person becomes incapacitated, or if the ward tries to make decisions for him or herself that would be damaging or potentially damaging.

When your mom or dad begins to lose their cognitive abilities, it can be very stressful for them and for you as their child. Your parents have always been there to take care of you – physically as a child and emotionally as an adult. It is difficult to think of them being completely dependent on you or anyone else.

Unfortunately, these things do happen and when it is apparent to you that your parents are unable to care for themselves, guardianship should be considered, as it is an option that can help protect your parents. It may be just what they need you to do for them. Making the decision to pursue guardianship is one that is not to be taken lightly. It should be made with as much input as possible from those close to your parents, their doctors or social workers, and those closest to you. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of guardianship with all the aforementioned people and consider talking to an attorney as well. Be informed. When and if you feel that guardianship is an undertaking that you are capable of that would benefit your parents, the process is actually quite simple.

You or your attorney can get the forms from the court or from a social worker. Once they are filled out, they will be filed through the local Probate Court for a small filing fee. A hearing will be scheduled when the papers have been filed.

Although it can be stressful to make a decision like this, when guardianship has been established, your parents care will be safe in your hands.


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As a Senior – Consider an Elder Law Attorney for Your Legal Planning



Elder Law Attorney for Elder Senior's Needs

Elder Law Attorney for Elder Senior’s Needs

Attorneys are part of our planning at different stages in life. When we make a big decision, we want it to be legal and “kosher” – in other words, done right. Learn about ways an Elder Law attorney can be of specific help to you or your aging family members. 

The four big things a consultation with an Elder Law Attorney may be a prudent thing to do are:

Assigning a Power of Attorney to a trusted person in your life.

Assigning a Medical Surrogate or Proxy– Advance Directives.

Creating some type of Trust to protect your assets.

Structuring Wills, Taxes and the like in the most favorable manner for your needs.

You can think of of an Elder Law attorney as a type of ‘specialist” – sort of like having your primary physician and a cardiologist.

Here in Florida, many clients are “Snowbirds”. We have found it essential to check which legal papers need to also be accepted in Florida as well as your State of Origin. Not dealing so much with the financial planning for a client, we see much more of the need for Medical Directives and a limited, durable Power of Attorney since we work mostly with clients dealing with an acute or chronic medical condition. Many people say “but I have a Will”.  That is needed to make your wishes for the transferring of things, property, heirlooms, etc – but not for your wishes for end of life, medical treatment. Remember, the Will is read after the burial. Get your end of life wishes written down in a legal fashion and distributed to the appropriate parties, including your main physicians.  Choose the person who can carry out your wishes, not necessarily your first choice.

An Elder Law attorney can do other things as well. Many will offer a Free Consultation. You can go to their professional site:  www.naela.org. Boca Home Care Services works with several established Elder Care Lawyers in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Information and referral are keys to our overall approach to Elder Care Services.

A good Elder Law attorney will be knowledgeable about medical and emotional issues connected to aging. They will also work with many other Elder Care professionals whose services you may need at different times and for different reasons.

As in all serious life matters, you want to work with an expert who can orchestrate the various players in the larger picture. A Geriatric Care Manager is one such professional, as is an Elder Law Attorney who will consult with your doctor’s, financial planners, family, accountant, insurance companies, Guardianship, GCM and so forth. As your Team Leader,  he or she will be able to furnish you with an individualized plan designed specifically for you and your unique personal needs.



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Joseph Bensmihen named president of the National Private Care Association


Joseph Bensmihen, MSW, CRG has been named president of the National Private Care Association, www.privatecare.org. The PCA has been representing Nurse Registries for thirty years. It is responsible for creating and improving standards of home care for elderly consumers and their families. They work on advocacy and policy issues to meet the growing home care needs of America’s seniors

Mr. Bensmihen owns and operates Boca Home Care Services, Inc. – a Nurse Registry and Boca Home Care, Inc. – a Medicare certified agency. He is a court appointed guardian and was the president of the PCA of Florida from 2006-2010.

Stay tuned for updates on policy issues which directly affect home care delivery.

For information please call us at 561-989-0611, or visit; www.bocahomecareservices.com.
boca home care services NR30211009

private care associationPrivate Care Association | Phone: 972-755-2560 |© 2010 PCA

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Guardianship: A Viable Option for Client Care

Protecting the Elderly, Disabled and Infirm

Written by Joseph Bensmihen, MSW, RG

Boca Home Care Services, Inc.

Printed Sept. 23,2010 Dorland Health: Senior Services Report – online

The primary goal of guardianship is to protect the rights of and care for an individual person who either recognizes their own incapacity or others deem them incapable of making proper decisions for themselves. It is a legal designation made by a judge through the court, giving a legal reassurance that the person is being cared for and their rights protected through the transparency of multiple accountabilities.

Essentially, guardianship is “care management with permission by a judge and oversight to the court, financial overseer and other relevant professionals involved.” Granting full control over someone may be negatively perceived, when in actuality it is granting control with limits and layers of protections to prevent exploitation.

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