Linking volunteer guardians to adults with cognitive impairments.
What is a guardian of the person
A guardian is a person who has the legal responsibility to advocate on behalf of an individual unable to care for herself/himself. Guardians make decisions regarding the care and welfare of their wards. They are compassionate people who can make a positive difference in the life of another person.
What is a ward?
A ward is a person who has been found legally incompetent by the court due to a mental, physical, or developmental disability. A ward is unable to make decisions independently. Incompetence may be due to Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome, brain injuries, mental retardation, stroke impairments, chronic mental illness, or dementia.
How does the GAIN project work?
Project staff recruits and trains people who are willing to act as a caring friend and legal advocate for an adult with a mental disability. Staff supports the volunteer guardian by providing ongoing training and assistance as needed.
Who can serve as a guardian?
A guardian is a caring adult in good physical and mental health. A guardian must be capable of understanding written records, possess good verbal skills, and be committed to advocating for the rights and needs of another person.
What is required of a guardian?
A guardian must complete an Application, undergo a Crime Information Bureau background check, and have positive references. A guardian must personally visit the ward and maintian close contact with the ward's caregivers. A brief report must be completed twice a year for GAIN staff. A person may be a guardian for up to 5 individuals.
What is not required of a guardian?
Guardians do not personally take care of their wards or provide a place for them to live. They do not financially support their wards, nor are they personally liable for acts of their wards. Guardians are exempt from civil liability for decisions they make on behalf of their wards as long as decisions are reasonable and made in good faith.
How can I volunteer to be a guardian?Individuals wishing to volunteer their services as a GAIN Project guardian should contact Diana Pitkaranta at 414/727-5360 or go here for Diana's email address.