It happens in many families where the roles reverse and adult children become responsible for the welfare of their parents. If a doctor has diagnosed your parent with dementia or other mentally impairing disease, it may be time to start taking steps to ensure that you will be able to manage affairs when the time comes.
It's a reality of life: you watch your parents age, and as they do so, they become less able to do things on their own. If your parent is also dealing with dementia or Alzheimer's, it can be heartbreaking to watch. Not only is their physical ability declining as they age, but their cognitive functioning is becoming less and less strong. You worry about keeping him or her safe, and wonder if a nursing home with 24-hour care would be the best for his or her health.
Sometimes family members need guidance in their lives from a guardian or conservator. These type of court ordered relationships are set in place to aid a young person or adult with their health and finances. In many states the term guardianship is blanketed over all age groups, but California has a different set of terms.
Some people are fortunate to stay physically and mentally sharp as a tack until their very last days, but many people just aren't that lucky. As they get older, they may become more forgetful, disorganized, and physically weak. All the details that go into managing their every day lives may start to get overwhelming, and it can be up to their adult children to step in and help -- whether the parent has asked for that help or not.
Britney Spears makes headlines today for very different reasons than she did a few years ago. James Spears, Britney's father, became his daughter's conservator five years ago after the singer exhibited bizarre public behavior.
Los Angeles actress Reese Witherspoon and her brother were in probate court last month to request a conservatorship for their 70-year-old father. Reese's mother, Betty Witherspoon, and father, John Witherspoon, have been married for more than 40 years.