Archive for the ‘Non-Profit’ Category

Recommended Website: CANHR

February 25, 2013


Since 1983, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), a statewide nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy organization, has been dedicated to improving the choices, care and quality of life for California’s long term care consumers.

Through direct advocacy, community education, legislation and litigation it has been CANHR’s goal to educate and support long term care consumers and advocates regarding the rights and remedies under the law, and to create a united voice for long term care reform and humane alternatives to institutionalization.

Source:
CANHR.org

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FL: Wards of the State Depend on Their Guardian Angels

December 12, 2012

A decades-old photo of Santa Claus and a child in winter clothing sits on the dresser in a holiday-bedecked bedroom.

That little girl, who was developmentally disabled and had cerebral palsy, lived with her parents in Massachusetts.

Now, at 62, with no family left to see to her needs, Kathy lives in a Space Coast group home as a legal ward of the state’s Statewide Public Guardianship Office. At the request of her guardian and because of privacy concerns, FLORIDA TODAY agreed not to publish her last name.

Along with 82 other adults in Brevard who’ve been declared incapacitated, all aspects of Kathy’s care falls to Aging Solutions, a nonprofit appointed by the state as the Office of the Public Guardian here and in three other counties.

The often-sad stories of these wards are highlighted annually over the holidays through Aging Solutions’ “Elves for Elders” campaign, which provides basic gifts for the organization’s charges.

But how do these Floridians, most older than 60, land in guardianship in the first place? And how are their needs met the rest of the year?

Wards, many cognitively and physically impaired, wind up under state guardianship for diverse reasons. Some were exploited financially by caretakers or family. Some living in dangerous, unhealthy situations were referred by the Department of Children and Families; others by hospitals or neighbors. Those with sufficient assets often are put in a private guardian’s care. Those who are indigent can fall under the state’s protection.

All share a bond: They no longer can care for themselves and have no family or friends to step up and take the lead. For example, Kathy’s parents and brother are deceased, and though she has one aunt in Brevard County, the older woman is unable to look after her niece.

Full Article and Source:
Wards of the State Depend on Their Guardian Angels

CEDA Fires Robert Wharton!

January 16, 2012

Robert Wharton, leader of one of the state’s largest nonprofits, has been ousted from the community assistance organization he steered for more than a decade, the agency’s board said Thursday.

The move follows a Tribune report earlier this week about how Wharton, as chief executive officer of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, had fallen behind in payments a Cook County judge ordered him to make to his former secretary.

The Cook County public guardian had alleged that Wharton financially exploited onetime employee Dorothy Hork, who is 91 and has dementia, by coaxing her over several years to write him checks for tens of thousands of dollars.

“(The board) decided to seek quick and decisive action and Bob has been relieved of all of his duties,” said CEDA spokesman Abe Thompson. “He is no longer with the organization.”

Full Article and Source:
Cook County Nonprofit Ousts Besieged Leader

See Also:
Robert Warton, CEO of Community and Economic Development of Cook County, IL (CEDA) Defaults

The (Elderly) Mob Rules

November 27, 2011

“If it’s hot, there’s a lot of booze and somebody named Big Daddy. You’re on pretty firm footing.”

Perhaps not what you’d expect to hear walking into the Santa Monica Senior Center on Ocean Avenue, but professional actor Brian Hamill is not emceeing Tuesday afternoon bingo.

Most Tuesdays between the hours of 12:30 and 2 p.m., Hamill transforms the northern end of the center into an improvisational comedy workshop for one and a half hours of mind-bending activities that keeps his troupe of senior actors on their toes.

Hamill, and other dedicated volunteers like him, do their work through the nonprofit organization Mob Rule, Inc., a loosely-bound coalition of community-minded individuals who run free workshops throughout the Los Angeles area.

The beauty of Mob Rule, Inc. is that anyone with an idea and some energy can get a class going with all the tax benefits of working through a nonprofit and none of the overhead.

Full Article and Source:
The (Elderly) Mob Rules

Guardians Needed

June 15, 2009
The need for legal guardians for people with disabilities and for the elderly is on its way to a crisis point, with more than 100 people who once lived in the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center or another state institution on a state-funded guardianship program waiting list. Add to that the number of young adults with disabilities each year who reach 18 and must have a court-appointed guardian.

The nonprofit Volunteer Lawyer Program of Northeast Indiana and Easter Seals Arc are hosting a free informational meeting at the Allen County Public Library for parents and caregivers of teens or adult children with disabilities. It is an educational outreach of VLP’s Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults, which finds volunteer guardians for adults with no family or friends able or willing to oversee services such as housing or health care. A guardian of the estate may also be appointed.

Although Tuesday’s forum is targeted at families with adult or soon-to-be adult children with disabilities, training for volunteer guardians for older adults and others through VLP-VASIA will be offered later this year. In some cases, an incapacitated person may have medical or other urgent issues requiring intervention but even when family is found, “They will not step up because they’re afraid of being financially responsible,” said attorney Catherine Christoff with Christoff & Christoff, also active with VLP-VASIA.

Although no one denies the guardianship need is significant, just how serious of a problem it is remains uncertain, said Julie Cameron, coordinator of Mental Health in America in Allen County’s Adult Guardianship Services. There is no good tracking in Indiana’s public or private guardianship programs of how many people on waiting lists may die before a guardian is found or perhaps a distant relative accepts the role. The guardianship process needs to be deliberate and taken very seriously, Houk said, noting “We’re talking about suspending people’s civil rights. It’s important there are barriers.”

Full Article and Source:
Needed: Guardians for Indiana’s disabled, elderly

>Guardians Needed

June 15, 2009

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The need for legal guardians for people with disabilities and for the elderly is on its way to a crisis point, with more than 100 people who once lived in the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center or another state institution on a state-funded guardianship program waiting list. Add to that the number of young adults with disabilities each year who reach 18 and must have a court-appointed guardian.

The nonprofit Volunteer Lawyer Program of Northeast Indiana and Easter Seals Arc are hosting a free informational meeting at the Allen County Public Library for parents and caregivers of teens or adult children with disabilities. It is an educational outreach of VLP’s Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults, which finds volunteer guardians for adults with no family or friends able or willing to oversee services such as housing or health care. A guardian of the estate may also be appointed.

Although Tuesday’s forum is targeted at families with adult or soon-to-be adult children with disabilities, training for volunteer guardians for older adults and others through VLP-VASIA will be offered later this year. In some cases, an incapacitated person may have medical or other urgent issues requiring intervention but even when family is found, “They will not step up because they’re afraid of being financially responsible,” said attorney Catherine Christoff with Christoff & Christoff, also active with VLP-VASIA.

Although no one denies the guardianship need is significant, just how serious of a problem it is remains uncertain, said Julie Cameron, coordinator of Mental Health in America in Allen County’s Adult Guardianship Services. There is no good tracking in Indiana’s public or private guardianship programs of how many people on waiting lists may die before a guardian is found or perhaps a distant relative accepts the role. The guardianship process needs to be deliberate and taken very seriously, Houk said, noting “We’re talking about suspending people’s civil rights. It’s important there are barriers.”

Full Article and Source:
Needed: Guardians for Indiana’s disabled, elderly

>Withholding of Consent Case

March 18, 2009

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Below is a summary of an important new decision by the Pennsylvania Superior Court regarding whether, and under what circumstances, a guardian has the authority to refuse treatment for an incapacitated person who does not have an end-stage medical condition or is permanently unconscious. In brief, the court held as follows:

1. A court order that appoints a person as a plenary guardian does not authorize that person to refuse life-sustaining treatment for incapacitated persons who do not have end-stage medical conditions or who are not permanently unconscious. In other words, a guardianship order by itself does not authorize the guardian to make such a decision.

2. A guardian must secure a special court order to allow him to refuse life-sustaining treatment for an incapacitated person who does not have an end-stage medical condition or who is not permanently unconscious. The guardian has an “extraordinary burden” to prove by clear and convincing evidence that death would be in the incapacitated person’s best interests, i.e., that extending life would be inhumane under the circumstances. The guardian must present specific medical evidence about the incapacitated person’s diagnosis, prognosis, pain, etc. and, if at all possible, evidence concerning the incapacitated person’s wishes either prior to or during the treatment. The individuals cognitive disability should generally not be considered.

This decision will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a guardian to secure an order that would allow him to refuse life-sustaining treatment when an incapacitated person does not have an end-stage medical condition or is not permanently unconscious.

Full Article and Source:
DRN Offers Summary of New Guardianship/Withholding of Consent to Treatment Case

Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) is a statewide, non-profit corporation designated as the federally-mandated organization to advance and protect the civil rights of adults and children with disabilities.

>Volunteer Guardianship Program

March 2, 2009

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Volunteers are being sought to assist elderly residents of area nursing homes who have no family.

The Full Life Center Inc., a nonprofit organization led by New Philadelphia attorney Karen Dummermuth, has developed a volunteer guardianship program. Dummermuth, who serves as a guardian for several area residents, said there is a great need for more guardians of the elderly and legally incompetent.

Dummermuth: “The volunteers would befriend these people and provide them with a friend on the outside. As these people, who must meet the legal definition of a ‘ward,’ have no family, the guardian could be making medical decisions for them.”

Full Article and Source:
Non-profit organizations seeks volunteers to serve as ‘guardians’ for residents of nursing homes

>The Child’s Advocate (TCA)

February 21, 2009

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A group of attorneys and mental health professionals have launched The Child’s Advocate (TCA), a nonprofit which aims to ensure that every child who comes into contact with the courts has access to high quality (free) legal representation—and to ensure his or her psychological needs are met during the process.

In addition to full-time and trained pro bono attorneys, TCA will also have mental health workers with experience in child development and family dynamics on staff. This team will be able to represent the child in the most constructive manner and be able to determine whether additional services are needed. The organization expects to serve 100 to 300 children each year. It also hopes to be a model for other communities across the state and nation to replicate and to serve as a “think tank” on children’s legal issues, as well.

Full Article and Source:
New Project Aims to Ensure Wake Children’s Voices Are Heard

>Opposition to Adoption Legislation

February 20, 2009

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Senate Bill 68, sponsored by Shelby County Gary Tapp, would prevent unmarried couples from adopting children in Kentucky. Gatewood, a family court attorney who works on cases where abused and neglected children are looking for permanent homes and is also openly gay, said he believes the bill’s intent is to prevent gay couples from adopting and is similar to legislation already filed in states.

Gatewood: “They’re essentially creating a ‘Catch 22.’ They’re arguing that we shouldn’t be allowed to be parents because we’re not married and they pass a law that says we can’t be married…Senator Tapp wants to send the Cabinet for Health and Family services into people’s bedrooms. Instead of looking at whether people are appropriate placements, have an acceptable home, or whether they have a criminal record, let’s see if they’re having sex.”

Gatewood said the bill would have unintended consequences that would limit the number of homes where abused and neglected children could go.

David Edmunds, with the Family Foundation of Kentucky, said his nonprofit educational group supports the bill.

Edmunds: “This bill is about children’s needs, not adults desires. All the statistics show that children do better in a married home. Unmarried homes are more likely to break up, more likely to foster abuse, and the statistics bare that out pretty consistently.”

Edmunds rebuffed the idea that SB 68 was specifically targeting gays and lesbians.

Full Article and Source:
Opposition Grows To Kentucky Adoption Legislation