Guardianships are a useful legal tool to help people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves – such as those suffering from dementia or developmental disability. In a guardianship proceeding the court appoints a guardian to manage an incapacitated person’s financial assets or personal affairs. The incapacitated person is then known as the “protected person.” A guardian can help ensure that the protected person lives with security and dignity to the greatest extent possible given their circumstances.
To help the public learn more about guardianships the Prosecutors Office “Adult Guardianship: What You Need to Know” – a You Tube video and companion fact sheet.
Click Here to download the fact sheet
Volunteer Guardianship Program
The Monroe County Volunteer Guardianship Program recruits, trains and oversees volunteers to serve as court-appointed guardians for eligible incapacitated adults. The program is a collaboration among several local organizations represented on an Advisory Board and is administered by the Area 10 Agency on Aging. The program is supported by a grant from the Office of State Court Administration and through other local funds. For more information contact the Area 10 Agency on Aging at www.area10agency.org or call (812) 876-3383 or 1-800-844-1010.
“Herald Times Opinion: VASIA program will serve an important need – Sunday, October 4, 2015
VASIA program will serve an important need
Sunday, October 4, 2015
A population of the most vulnerable people in Monroe County will soon be a little less at risk thanks to a new program unveiled last week.
The Volunteer Advocate for Seniors or Incapacitated Adults (VASIA) program could do the same good for the adults it serves that CASA does for the children of Monroe County. The Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program assigns adults to children, who through no fault of their own are involved in the legal system. CASAs help them navigate the process and look out for their interests.
The VASIA program will provide guardians for patients with dementia who don’t have family members to help care for them, individuals with developmental disabilities whose parents have died, and others who need help with significant decisions they are left alone to handle.
The adult volunteers will be able to help people who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves to be treated with fairness and dignity while maintaining their security. How many times do you hear about a situation in which an unscrupulous person has taken advantage of someone who couldn’t take care of themselves? This program should help address that.
But there are other issues that just involve doing right by someone. Consider a scenario in which a 40-year-old with a severe developmental disability loses her only surviving parent and is now left on her own after living at home her whole life. Some people in this situation would have a plan in place, but not all would. For those who don’t, the appointed guardian would help place the 40-year-old into an appropriate housing situation, oversee her finances and help her receive the medical care she needs.
A partnership between Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal’s office and the Area 10 Agency on Aging is taking advantage of funding available through the Indiana Supreme Court to create the VASIA program. Those who volunteer for the program will trained to do their duties and work under the oversight of a volunteer guardianship program. A local judge will appoint them to their specific role of advocating for a person who needs them.
Gaal explained clearly at a news conference Thursday why this is such an important program to have.
“These persons are on their own; they can’t take care of themselves and have no one to help them. Too often, these situations go unnoticed,” he said. He has seen the needs first-hand since his office oversees the Adult Protective Services program, which investigates reports of adults who are in danger of being harmed.
Those who can must help those who can’t help themselves.
VASIA has great promise when it comes to taking care of some of our most at-risk Hoosiers. Congratulations to those advocates who helped establish it.