Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Guardianship -worth it?

Good morning…
Asking for some feedback on this subject.
i have been tossing this around for years and, the one person is against getting this for my son thinks I should not seek this. She argues that my son so badly wants to be independent (This is true). It would be awful to have to be in front of a judge and jury and say he is incompetent.
Is it worth it to go through this? Does it really help?
Does it make the caregiver responsible for damages any where or for any occuring payments?
Will doctors call you back? Do you have any pull on treatments or how long to be in hospital?
I know I need to talk with an attorney but just wanted to hear about any problems or if I have to jump through more hoops…
Thanks~

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Good morning Bridgecomet. I’m a legal guardian to my mom and have been for the last 18 years. Your question is difficult to answer quickly but I will try my best to offer you some things to ponder over. Guardianship is not taken lightly because it will take away your son’s right to make decisions for himself. But is he safe? Are you safe? I always ask those two questions. If your son is safe under his own knowledge and care and is able to make sound decisions for himself then you do not need to seek guardianship. Are you safe? Is he living in your home and do you feel safe? First he must be given a test to determine if he’s mentally competent. Does he know his name/what year it is/who is the president? That must be determined first and not at the hearing. Has he been given a competency exam? Once you become guardian you are not responsible financially for your son. In fact many guardians can request to receive a small monthly payment for acting as guardian. Doctors will call you back, you will need to have regular contact with your son’s care team, social worker, doctors and anyone else involved. Your friend is right that you want your son to be as independent for as long as possible. My mom lived independently under guardianship off and on until her 60s. Her mother while in her old age was her guardian before I was because she needed hospitalization regularly to help her get her meds right. (She actually got to a point where her psychosis prevented her from eating and she needed a feeding tube. That was when her first guardianship took place.) The one downside to being a guardian is it does not help you get your son treatment during psychosis if he’s living with you, it’s actually almost the opposite. There are special laws put into place that guardians not overuse their power. But in short, if your son needs the help and you are able and willing to take on the very difficult role of being his guardian I support you in that. It should not be taken lightly. Hope that helps. Email me if you’d like to discuss this further. mrsbigsky@gmail.com

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Just an update and thank you for responding mrsbigsky.
Just found out that my son checked himself into the hospital!!! I’m elated! I have been trying to back out without abandoning, still being supportive.
THANK YOU!:butterfly:

For me with my son it was 100% worth it. It was difficult and he was angry about it in the beginning but it gave me the power to have input and a say so and to tell the doctor , “no that is not true what he is saying THIS is what happened” My son’s delusions had him saying all kinds of crazy things to his doctor weekly. If I had not been there it would have been virtually impossible for his doctor to get a clear and accurate picture of his mental health on a daily basis and whether a medicine was working or not. In addition my son had a drug problem and when I got control of his money and used it only for his living expenses he could no longer get drugs. He was mad about that too. He lives with me, he is as far as I am concerned in remission of his Schizophrenia, he still has the lethargy, and tendency for isolation and difficulty with motivation and self direction, but there are no more voices and no more problematic delusions and I can trust him and we can live happily and peacefully together now as room mates and in a way help mates. Without the guardianship there would have been no progress at all and I am positive that my son would have died several years ago. Just my 2 cents from my own experiences. I wish you well.

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When my daughter turned 18, I became her guardian. She was completely in favor of it. It gives you the authority to make medical decisions. The doctors have to speak with you. The guardianship can be limited in a number of areas that would allow for more independence. It is reviewed every year so you and your child’s lawyer can decide about what limitations are appropriate. This is the case in Massachusetts, it may vary by state.

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