Guardianship capacity evaluations of older adults: comparing current practice to legal standards in two states.J Aging Soc Policy. 2003; 15(1):97-115.JA
This study examined the evaluations of capacity of alleged incapacitated persons (AIPs) between two states and compared the thoroughness of the evaluations to state law. These evaluations are frequently the only source of information on cognitive and psychiatric symptoms, functional abilities, and current treatments. One hundred nineteen evaluations of capacity were reviewed using the Guardianship Evaluation Review Instrument. Findings indicated that states differed on the AIP's age, presence at the court hearing, and description of current treatments. Overall, data suggested that evaluation thoroughness was substandard. In over 75% of cases, full guardianship was granted. Issues on terminology, concern regarding evaluators and courts, and ways for evaluators and the court to fulfill their responsibilities to older adults are discussed.