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What is the role of a guardian in Colorado?

Whether you have an aging loved one or a close friend in Colorado who needs assistance, you may want to look into obtaining a guardianship. According to Colorado law, guardians can be appointed over incapacitated minors or adults who are unable to make informed choices or communicate with professionals regarding their safety, self-care or physical health. Guardians can be family members, volunteers, friends or even representatives from the Department of Human Services in some counties. Once the appropriate person has been deemed guardian of the incapacitated person, often referred to as the ward, the guardian has certain roles he or she can perform in the best interests of the patient.

As a guardian, you are responsible for making sure that the ward’s personal needs are met. This includes clothing, shelter, food and medical attention if needed. You may need to arrange special living arrangements with a nursing home or long-term care unit if the ward has special needs that cannot be met by living by themselves. If the guardian attempts to move the ward out of the state, they must first obtain permission.

You are also responsible for ensuring the ward receives the medical treatment they require. This may mean arranging in-home care, setting up appointments and locating a specialist. Ultimately, you have the power to determine what the ward needs, taking into consideration the personal wishes and beliefs of the ward. In most cases, you should encourage the ward to participate as much as possible in their own care, but may need to step in when needed.

This information should be used to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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