Legal Issues: Guardianship and Supportive Decision Making
Guardianship of an adult is sometimes necessary to assist an adult who has become unable to care for himself or unable to manage his financial matters. Recently some States have added a less restrictive type of arrangement that may be appropriate for some people with disabilities who are not in need of a guardianship but could use help making decisions. This new arrangement is called Shared Decision Making. Lastly, the least restrictive way to provide assistance with decision making is a Power of Attorney.
People with disabilities, their family members and healthcare providers should be informed and understand the different options available to them and chose the best option. While some may need to have a Guardianship others may find a Shared Decision Making agreement or a Power of Attorney provides the assistance needed.