As your parent ages, you may notice that he or she can no longer properly care for him or herself. At this point, you may want to seek guardianship from the court to gain the legal right to make decisions for your parent and have some control to protect him or her.
According to the Official State Web Portal for Colorado, obtaining guardianship over an adult is not an easy process because the state recognizes the right of adults to control their own lives. A court will be hesitant to grant guardianship and take away the independence of an adult without sufficient proof that the step is necessary to protect the individual.
The law requires a court to hear clear and convincing evidence that your parent cannot continue living safely and in a healthy manner without the intervention of a guardianship. The court must find your parent is an incapacitated person and he or she is unable to make decisions for him or herself. You must prove that he or she cannot meet his or her needs to the extent it puts your parent in physical danger.
You will have to provide medical documentation to prove your case. You may need to work with your parent’s doctor to get the evidence you need or have the court require your parent’s doctor to testify in court.
In most cases, the court will recommend that you consider alternatives to guardianship. Getting a home health aide or securing a power of attorney may be a better option that is less restrictive than a guardianship but that can enable you to protect your parent.