September 16, 2017
Serious mental illness can remain undetected for years, especially if the ill person has been paired with an enabler. When the enabler leaves the ill person through death or through choice, the illness becomes apparent to others and someone has to step in to take care of the person with the mental illness, if the symptoms of the illness cause a threat to themselves or others. Sometimes there is no family member or friend willing to do the work, and a government agency has to do it. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has an overwhelming number of wards to oversee http://chfs.ky.gov/dail/guardianship.htm.
Dementia sufferers also need someone to help them manage their lives for their health and safety and the safety of others. Guardianship is a big job with an overwhelming amount of responsibility. Lawyers, or anyone can do it for a fee, but there is a yearly accounting of the finances in front of a judge. Whoever is a guardian has to be a caring, responsible, and trustworthy person. Do you know someone you would trust with your life? I don’t know any ONE person I would trust with my life. I think a team of decision makers is best when handling the awesome responsibility of managing the life of someone else. I have made my three sons equal decision makers in a power of attorney document, should I become demented. Most lawyers say that appointing more than one person as a power of attorney is a bad idea, but I disagree. I believe it is good to have a checks and balances kind of management team in any setting…work, home, places of worship, government…
That is one reason I like the health club for seniors concept for managing an elderly person’s health and quality of life. We have the team of staff at the clubhouse to balance out decisions and care there, and we have another team for managing the help that may be needed at home. If our member has family, they have input and add balance to the home piece. Then there is each of our member’s personal physicians. They also add input and balance to the equation of what makes for good care. In addition to making my sons my equal powers of attorney, I am also going to be a member of a health club for seniors, God willing.
May you and yours be blessed in the coming week!