How Do I Get to Decide Whether My Father Enters a Nursing Home or Not?
The answer will depend on whether the father still has legal capacity to sign documents, which generally means the ability to understand the nature and consequences of his action. Legal capacity is the level of judgment and decision-making ability needed to sign official documents. In order to be competent or have legal capacity to sign documents, a person must be able to understand and appreciate the consequences of his/her actions. In most cases, the person with dementia is able to understand the meaning and importance of a given legal document.
Once a person is diagnosed with dementia, family and friends should help the person make legal plans. The sooner plans can begin, the more the person with dementia may be able to participate.
Planning for incompetence includes:
-Making plans for health care and long-term care coverage
-Making plans for finances and property
-Naming another person to make decisions on behalf of the person with dementia
A living will, power of attorney, and testamentary will should be prepared. If the person no longer had legal capacity to sign such documents, it may be necessary to establish a gaurdianship.