When Do You Need Legal Advice About Elder Care?
Elder care is not a process that is always entered into lightly. Many wait until things progress to a dangerous point to get their elderly relatives the help that they need, prompting panic in the part of those who are suddenly responsible for making tough decisions.
All too many individuals fail to call about senior living until the elder family member’s health or faculties have deteriorated. While many attorneys are more than happy to help out families who suddenly find themselves needing to make difficult decisions for those who cannot help themselves, attorneys often caution that it’s easier to make these choices ahead of time. Understanding the role that an attorney plays ahead of time can save families a great deal of stress and heartache.
If you’re ready to start thinking about contacting a facility like Silverbell Homestead about the Elder Care Facilities Asheville NC residents need, you will want to ask yourself a few basic questions before you move forward.
Are Your Working in the Impacted Party’s Best Interests?
All lawyers work hard to represent their clients. When you’re looking at the transition into senior living, what you’re really doing is helping your elderly family member find a an attorney who will focus on his or her best interests.
Generally speaking, this is an easy factor to consider when your family member can make the call himself or herself. If he or she can no longer be considered mentally competent to do so, though, things get a bit more difficult. A power of attorney for that family member can make the situation a bit more streamlined, but having such a document drafted isn’t always in the cards.
Do You Need to Know if Your Family Member Can Make the Choice Himself or Herself?
More problematic are the situations in which family members assume the competence of the older family member. If a lawyer is not able to work with that family member because of competency issues, the family members will need to speak to a doctor and then go to court to have someone appointed as a guardian for the family member – a process that can be long and difficult. As one imagines, then, getting the help earlier rather than later is always preferred.
Remember, a legally competent adult can absolutely deny any attempts to go to senior care and doing so is well within his or her rights. That’s why it is often necessary to work with a good facility manager to ensure that your family member can make an informed choice on his or her own.
When Doing So Is a Safety Issue
It’s important to remember that most legitimate attorneys are more than capable of understanding why you are talking about making an elder care decision for a parent. Lawyers understand that some people do so because of a sense of greed or personal entitlement, while others are at the ends of their rope trying to provide care that is simply overwhelming.
It’s always a good idea to consult an attorney when you think there’s a health or safety problem involved. If the lawyer thinks you’re moving towards this kind of condition for your own gain, he or she will refuse you as a client. If he or she thinks you’re making this choice for the other party, though, he or she will help you as best as he or she can.
At the end of the day, the important thing is that you ask these questions while there is still time. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to make these choices for a loved one. If you can move while all of the easily-accessible legal pieces are in play, you’ll have an easier time reaching a resolution that keeps the best interests of all parties in mind.