It is an unfortunate truth that as people are living longer, their children are often faced with stepping into the role of caring for parents diagnosed with dementia or other types of cognitive decline. While it is difficult to watch as our parents change given the ravages of dementia, the practical aspects of continuing to assist them with bill paying and medical issues can be very challenging. Ideally, every person will have signed durable powers of attorney for financial matters as well as advance directives with a patient advocate designation. These documents allow individuals who are named to act on your behalf if you are unable to act on your own, as in the case of incapacity caused by dementia. But is there a way for me to help my family members manage financial matters or medical decisions if they did not plan ahead with powers of attorney? Absolutely! While it requires a bit more effort and a trip to the probate court, guardianship and conservatorship will allow the appointed person to act on behalf of an incapacitated person. An adult child can then make medical and financial decisions on behalf of a parent, ensuring that a parent is protected from financial exploitation and that all care needs are met. While role reversal with aging parents can be difficult, knowing what you can do to help them can make the journey easier to walk. If you have questions about powers of attorney, guardianships or conservatorships, please contact our office and we would be happy to work with you as you work to take care of your beloved family member.