Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2014 , Vol 17, Issue 4
Mehmet CAVLAK1, Aysun ODABAŞI BALSEVEN2, Ramazan AKÇAN2, Mahmut Şerif YILDIRIM2, Aykut LALE2, Eyüp Ruşen HEYBET2, Ali Rıza TÜMER2
1Council of Forensic Medicine, Ankara Group Authority, Morgue Department ANKARA
2Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine ANKARA
Introduction: Today the number of applications for legal guardianship has increased among geriatrics. In Turkey, the assessment of legal guardianship is made within the framework of the 405th and 408th articles of the Turkish Civil Code. To the best of our knowledge, there are no published articles dealing with reports of legal guardianship for geriatric citizens. Therefore we aimed to evaluate legal guardianship reports in light of the related literature.

Materials and Method: The records of the Department of Forensic Medicine of Hacettepe University Medical Faculty were used in this study. Patients' files and legal guardianship reports issued between the years 2011 and 2013 were investigated retrospectively. Geriatric cases (aged over 65) that had been referred for a legal capacity evaluation were included in the study. All cases were analyzed in terms of age, sex, occupation, existing psychiatric disorder or illnesses, the reason for legal guardianship, Mini Mental State Examination Test score and presence of dementia.

Results: Of a total of 1306 cases, 36 (2.7%) were elderly patients referred for a legal guardianship examination. The ages of these cases ranged between 65 and 90. Sixty-one percent of the cases were evaluated in terms of TCC article 405 and 14% in terms of article 408. Of the total elderly cases, 81% (n=29) suffered from dementia, which in turn was due to Alzheimer's disease in 83% of the dementia cases.

Conclusion: Our findings revealed that the most common medical condition requiring legal guardianship was dementia, of which the leading cause was Alzheimer's disease. Keywords : Geriatrics; Legal Guardians/Legislation & Jurisprudence; Mental Competency/Legislation & Jurisprudence; Dementia