Finding out that your loved one has a debilitating medical condition may cause many different emotional reactions. You may feel anxious about their future and worried about whether you will have the same condition eventually. You may also fear that your loved one will reach a point when they can no longer take care of themselves without help.
People can ask for a guardianship over adults with conditions severe enough to prevent them from taking care of themselves. While there may be dozens of medical conditions that require family support in a guardianship capacity, the three diagnoses below have a strong relationship with guardianship.
Children born with Down syndrome may have secondary medical conditions that shorten their lifespan. Adults with Down syndrome often require support or at least oversight if they want to live independently. Those with Down syndrome can be vulnerable to financial abuse from others and might struggle to manage their own resources.
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Few diseases are as frightening as Alzheimer’s can be. It diminishes the ability of previously bright and successful people until they become childlike in their behavior. While those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s can still maintain independence, as the condition progresses, they almost always require support in their daily lives.
Unlike many other medical conditions, autism is a broad spectrum of symptoms and behaviors. Neurodiverse individuals sometimes manage independent living with no oversight or assistance. Others require around-the-clock monitoring and someone to manage their finances and medical needs. If there are communication barriers or co-morbid conditions, an autistic child or adult may benefit from guardianship.
Any condition that affects someone’s cognition or independent living skills may justify seeking a guardianship. Knowing when you need to step up for a loved one can help you protect them in the future.