For those whose occupation requires them to travel, obtaining guardianship of an elderly parent may become a difficult legal battle. Many times the local court, including those in Florida, will deny a guardianship request if the person requesting it is constantly traveling or out of town due to work or other reasons. This may have been the case for a 56-year-old truck driver from another state who attempted to obtain guardianship of his elderly mother.
The truck driver wanted to bring his 82-year-old mother, who is in an assisted living center, to live with him in another city. He had moved due to employment needs. He was hoping that he could have his mother closer to him due for her health problems. Unfortunately for the truck driver, in a hearing last May the county Department of Social Services was awarded guardianship of his mother. He claims that the court denied him guardianship due to the nature of his employment.
Social Services apparently moved his mother to a rehabilitation center without his knowledge after the hearing. At first, according to the son, Social Services refused to give him information about his mother’s whereabouts. However, they later told him that he would be informed of her location and condition if he requested it. They have also indicated, in general, that a relative can normally petition a court for another guardianship hearing after Social Services has been appointed, particularly due to the fact that preference is given to family members in designating legal guardians.
Guardianship of an elderly person is an important decision in Florida and elsewhere in the U.S. The assigned legal guardian is given authority to make decisions in almost every area of the person’s life. This would include choosing where the person lives and making any legal decisions on behalf of the person being cared for.