continuum of support

Guardianship and its Alternatives

Spectrum of Alternatives, cont'd

Making use of family members or friends to provide a person with supervision and assistance is one of the least restrictive alternatives since the person retains full independence and decision-making authority and since no court involvement is necessary.

In contrast, a medical power of attorney is a “middle ground” alternative because the person retains control over all areas of their life except for decisions related to medical care. It is also considered a “middle ground” alternative because a power of attorney is a legal document that requires limited court involvement.

Finally, as the spectrum chart indicates, full guardianship is the most restrictive option. Full guardianship requires a court order and court oversight. A person under guardianship loses the right to make decisions about all areas of his or her life.

The spectrum chart is intended to serve as tool and will be referenced throughout the training. Take the time to think through and understand alternatives to guardianship. Selecting an alternative (or alternatives) to guardianship, whenever possible, will help preserve some or all of a person’s basic decision-making rights.

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