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Approaching your loved one about a guardianship

When it comes to aging loved ones, it can be difficult to come to terms with their decreasing capabilities. They might need more help with daily tasks, or perhaps they suffered an injury such as a fall. Signs like these are an indication that something should be done to protect their health and well-being, and for many familiar, a guardianship is the right approach.

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 65.7 million informal or familial caregivers throughout the U.S. care for individuals who are elderly, ailing or disabled. If you are one of these people, talking to your loved one about a formal guardianship may be difficult, but the following tips can help make the discussion easier.

Be sensitive to their needs

For an adult who has lived independently for decades, the prospect of being cared for might sound unappealing at best. It may even come off as insulting that you would imply they need help with their daily tasks. This is why sensitivity is crucial. You should not approach your loved one in a patronizing tone. Rather, you should initiate a discussion about how helpful a guardianship might be.

Explain its many benefits

To present a guardianship in a positive light, you should explain how beneficial it has the potential to be. Many people have the misconception that it is merely a financial obligation. While a guardian may take over management of an elderly individual's finances, they are typically also responsible for their well-being. Caring for both of these aspects can greatly benefit an aging person. 

Give your loved one time to think

Entering into a guardianship agreement is a significant commitment, and it requires mutual trust between both parties. If your loved one initially seems resistant towards the idea, it is perfectly understandable. Do not pressure them into it, but instead, allow them time to consider its benefits. They may see it positively soon.

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