Guardian & Conservator
Guardians and conservators are individuals appointed by the state to help men and women who have a limited ability to make their own decisions. A person with a guardian or conservator is called a ward. Guardians help make the ward’s personal decisions, such as where to live or what medical treatment is necessary. Conservators manage the ward’s finances. Both are appointed by a judge after a concerned party signs a petition stating that the ward needs help. Physician documentation is usually required to support the petition. The ward is given their own attorney, called a Guardian Ad Litem, to make sure their rights are protected and that they are informed about the process.
Prairie Rose Care Management staff members are often asked to serve as guardians and conservators. Examples of when it may be appropriate to ask Prairie Rose Care Management to take on this role:
- The ward has no family at all, or the family is too far away to manage day to day affairs.
- The ward’s family is emotionally distant, or estranged, and the ward would not have wanted family members making their decisions.
- The ward’s family wants to help the ward, but family conflict prevents effective care.
- The ward’s family has tried to help, but has found the burden of care to be too overwhelming.
- The ward is too resistant and family members find it emotionally difficult to make decisions in an impaired person’s best interest when the person disagrees.
Arriving at the decision to ask for a guardian and conservator is difficult. Prairie Rose will do everything possible to support the family and the ward in this process. We believe it is mandatory to respect the ward’s rights, and make decisions that are in line with their beliefs and ideas. Guardians and conservators are court-appointed, and they are required to file initial and annual reports to be reviewed by the court. Court permission must be obtained to sell real estate, move the ward to an assisted living or nursing home, or in other unusual circumstances. When a family member is asking Prairie Rose to serve the ward, we will always work with them in a caring manner.