Just about the worst thing that can happen to a senior is to reach a point where help is urgent and there is no assignment of power of attorney, no living will, and no prior knowledge of health concerns. When a move is critical for the safety of a parent and there is no one legally authorized to make those changes for them, things get really tricky. If dementia is involved, it may be too late for a parent to make a decision or assign power of attorney and the courts may end up being involved. Going to court for legal guardianship can be expensive and emotionally overwhelming. It can take weeks to months and, in the meantime, no plan can be put in place for the safety of a parent unless a serious incident occurs. I’ve seen parents show up 5 states away with no idea how they’ve gotten there when the police pick them up. Homes have burned down, firearms discharged, tens of thousands of dollars given away, psychotic episodes fueled by paranoia and fear, and serious bodily injury. The victims, older adults, were homemakers, business owners, physicians, and church goers- all very nice, capable people except for a “little forgetfulness.” These events are happening weekly just in the Charlotte area. In every case, the family has either said they didn’t think things were that bad or they knew it but they were not legally able to do anything. This is not to scare you, it’s just reality.