Many Delaware residents have an instinctual desire to protect their loved ones. Parents often feel this way about their children, and as those children grow into adults, they may come to feel the need to protect their elderly parents. Many older individuals do need this protection because mental decline and other issues can put elderly people in vulnerable positions that could lead to a need for guardianship.

Declines in ability can happen very quickly. One day, a person may seem fully capable of caring for him or herself, and the next day, it may seem as if the individual has lost most abilities. This scenario could affect anyone, and it also places loved ones at risk for elder abuse and exploitation. In fact, reports indicated that up to one million elderly individuals face abuse, neglect and financial exploitation every year.

This type of action could stem from individuals trying to carry out fraudulent schemes or even from people close to the elderly person. It is often difficult for elderly individuals to recognize when they are being taken advantage of, or they may fear negative repercussions if they do voice their concerns. It is often important for a trusted loved one to step in and handle the individual’s affairs to help prevent abuse.

Seeing a beloved person become more and more unable to care for him or herself can be difficult and emotional. It can also be difficult to know the right time to step in for a parent or other elderly loved one and handle his or her affairs. If Delaware residents believe that the time has come to take this action, they may want to consult with knowledgeable attorneys about guardianship and other options.