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Senior Citizen Guardian Program
For senior citizens who are ultimately deemed incompetent and incapable of making their own decisions, the county court system appoints a guardian to help them.
Adult Protective Services many times enlists the help of community members who volunteer to serve in this role through the agency's Senior Citizen Guardian Program.
The process for determining whether an individual is in need of a guardian is led by the county’s court system in consultation with a physician. Abuse and neglect can come in many forms, either at the hands of someone else or from the senior citizen’s inability to care for himself or herself.
Adult Protective Services is always seeking volunteers who are able to serve as guardians for these individuals.
To be a guardian, you must:
be at least 18 years of age
pass a background check
The court system prefers family members as guardians when possible, but many times there is no family nearby to help. In some cases, a family member is an inappropriate guardian, due to a history of abuse and/or neglect.
The duties of the guardian will vary. In some cases, a guardian will visit with a senior citizen once a month for an outing, like going out to lunch or bowling.
Some guardians assist with paying bills, balancing checkbooks, getting medications or simply socializing.
The guardians are authorized to sign legal documents for the individuals with whom they work.
Depending on the case, the tasks might be more extensive, like appearing in court as needed or helping them transition into a nursing home.
Adult Protective Services staff is also available to support the volunteer when necessary.