Allwell recently implemented a Guardianship program to look after the emotional, social, and physical well-being of vulnerable adults in our area. The Guardian is responsible for advocating for the rights of those individuals with the least intrusive, most normalizing, and least restrictive course of action possible given the needs of the Ward. Guardians are responsible and accountable to the Probate Court for the wards (a person over the age of 18 with a disability that causes incompetency) entrusted to them. Guardianship is meant to ensure the well-being of the ward by allowing a competent individual to make decisions for the ward who is not capable of doing so. Individuals who fit the legal definition of mental incapacity may suffer from a severe mental illness, an acquired brain injury, an intellectual disability, conditions associated with old age, conditions related to a stroke, chronic intoxication, and dementia.
Ultimately, the guardian’s role depends on the ward’s level of incapacity and the specific laws that govern guardianship activities and proceedings in his or her state. Generally, a guardian makes decisions related to the ward’s medical treatment, living situation, property, and/or income. Guardians are devoted to helping those who cannot help themselves. After initial training through the Ohio Supreme Court, volunteers are matched with a ward. Guardians meet with their wards as needed, but not less than once quarterly or as determined by the probate division of a court of common pleas. A guardian must answer to the court for providing proper care and management of the ward’s affairs in the ward’s best interests.
Allwell’s Guardianship program supports those who are ill and alone in our communities, providing a much-needed service to residents, social service agencies, and local courts.