Sometimes, individuals come to our office seeking guidance about how to handle a family member whose erratic or eccentric behavior is causing issue.
Where do you draw the line between being eccentric and needing intervention?
It’s time to step in when there is real physical danger– when an individual’s behavior has actually put him or her in a state that could cause real damage.
For example, a female lives alone in her home and refuses to come out, does not consume effectively, and does not take prescribed medication. Your house is extremely filthy and chaotic. That kind of habits with no sort of intervention would result in death.
Or maybe a male wanders out in the middle of the night in his pajamas when it is 20 degrees outside. He does not know where he is and doesn’t remember where his home is. That kind of behavior would put him in threat.
It’s time to step in when somebody has a mental-health issue– usually dementia– that has actually caused unsafe habits. It is not unusual for an individual with dementia to act out in a violent manner since of fear and delusion. She or he may physically attack a spouse or caregiver.
It’s time to action in when a person has revealed a severe absence of judgment when it concerns cash and is at threat for ending up being impoverished. This is frequently a person who has been the victim of some kind of monetary abuse. Perhaps a member of the family or someone who’s been given access to the individual’s savings account has taken loan from the account. Possibly a deceitful individual has actually tricked the person.
What about an individual who addicted to a house shopping program on television? Is that a factor to step in?
But if she is investing what she can afford or even a little bit more– well we have all been foolish. We may not like what the person is doing with his or money, however we have to keep in mind that a competent person does can invest his or her money. Nevertheless, it is really tough for adult kids to see their parents doing something that the moms and dads would have informed them was stupid.
One thing to be mindful of is habits that is uncharacteristic. Say if Mommy has never offered extravagant gifts and has always been evenhanded with gifts to her children. Suddenly among her kids is driving a Porsche that he says Mom gave him as a gift. This might be a sign that something is wrong. Does Mommy remember offering him the car? Is she totally aware of what she is doing or is she confused?
The time to act is when the habits is putting a person at risk for going through all his or her money and having absolutely nothing left to survive on. These are all very great examples of scenarios where a guardianship should be checked out.