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Kent guardians don't have to go it alone

Any Kent resident who has served as the guardian for a vulnerable child knows that the challenges of caring for a loved one do not end with the establishment of legal guardianship. As one father recently discovered, the difficult decisions that need to be made in the scope of everyday care can sometimes distract a guardian from big-picture issues that may arise long after legal intervention because of incapacity. Every guardian needs to remember that resources are available to help you through a trying time.

One father's oversight in providing care for his comatose son finds him in the unusual position of having to fight a legal battle over the guardianship of his son. The father apparently failed to realize that his son's Medicaid coverage was set to expire, so the father never took the proper steps necessary renew the coverage. With the son's medical expenses mounting, the hospital petitioned for the appointment of a third-party guardian.

The hospital says that the goal of petitioning for a third-party guardian is to ensure that the patient receives the healthcare coverage to which he is entitled. A county official says that even though the father seems to be the best advocate for his son, guardians are often unaware of the full scope of a patient's needs. The county official said that even though the care of a loved one is a blessing, so is the assistance of an experienced professional who is fluent in guardianship duties.

Serving as the guardian of an incapacitated loved one is a difficult and often complicated job. Any person taking on the role of guardian does so with the best intentions, but not everyone has the resources to manage the responsibilities of guardianship without assistance. Guardians in the Seattle-area should remember that compassionate professionals can help ease the burden of guardianship, ensuring that a loved one receives the best care possible.

Source: ABC News, "North Carolina Dad Battles Hospital For Guardianship Of Comatose Son," Alexis Shaw, June 27, 2012

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