Understanding Guardianship vs Power of Attorney

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Whether it’s for the purpose of making medical or financial decisions or becoming the primary decision maker, there are times when you may need to consider a power of attorney or guardianship for your senior loved one. Determining which document is appropriate starts with having a clear understanding of the purpose of each option. 

Power of Attorney

Prepared with the assistance of a lawyer but not requiring court involvement, a power of attorney is drafted with your loved one’s consent. Your loved one will choose what decisions you’ll be able to make for him or her. A power of attorney can be limited to financial matters or healthcare decisions only. 

Helping your loved one create a power of attorney isn’t the only potentially overwhelming responsibility you may have to face. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide at-home care. Turn to Embrace In-Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.


With guardianship, you’ll either be named a guardian or conservator. You’ll then be responsible for all financial, healthcare, and overall care decisions related to your loved one. Requiring court approval, guardianship can also be relegated to personal care decisions or estate matters, depending on the level of incapacity. 

If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Embrace In-Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services. Green Valley families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Choosing the Right Option

If your loved one gets a little confused about money issues but is otherwise capable, a power of attorney is typically recommended. Should your loved one reach a point where he or she is no longer mentally capable of making decisions for his or her own wellbeing, which may be due to conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s, guardianship may be more appropriate. 

Guardianship is a much more involved and time-consuming process that will require regular monitoring by the court, while a power of attorney requires your loved one to have sufficient mental capacity to understand what he or she is agreeing to and signing. Many states require that the least restrictive option, which would be the power of attorney, be applied before resorting to guardianship so the person being protected may retain as much individual freedom as possible.

Making these types of crucial decisions for a loved one can be a challenging task, especially if you have other important duties to tend to. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Green Valley respite care experts at Embrace In-Home Care are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Call Embrace In-Home Care at (520) 625-2050 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.


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