Archive for the ‘professional guardians’ Category

9 Investigates central Florida legal guardians

July 27, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. — Legal guardians are entrusted with the protection of central Florida’s most vulnerable residents, but a three-month Eyewitness News investigation has uncovered over-billing and neglect complaints in the statewide guardianship system.

Investigative reporter Christopher Heath has combed through hundreds of pages of documents and learned there is little oversight of professional guardians. He also found out why those working to change the system are running into opposition that stretches all the way to Tallahassee.

Mae Williams, the mother of one ward requiring the care of a guardian, talked to Heath.

“She was real sick, and they got the head man in the place to put her in the hospital,” Williams explained.

Williams’ adult daughter had been living at a Maitland nursing home when she became ill, but her court-appointed guardian wasn’t only unavailable to make a decision for her care, she was out of the country.

The family began a letter-writing campaign, pleading with the court to remove the guardian.

Channel 9 obtained the correspondence sent to Ninth Circuit Court officials. Eventually, the guardian resigned.

Full Article and Source:
9 Investigates central Florida legal guardians

Sheila Collier: Are guardians helping or harming the elderly?

January 16, 2013

There continues to be so much published by the media about how a guardian for an incapacitated elderly adult abuses the assets of the estate and gives little supervision to the individual. There is another side to the story for people to hear.

As the first private professional guardianship service established in Texas, I based my initial fees on what was being paid by our state to the former nonprofit agency contracted to provide guardianship services throughout Texas in 1997. I gradually made slight increases to keep up with the usual cost of living adjustments.

Unlike in 1997, Texas now has regulations for educating and certifying guardians, and for the monitoring of guardianship services and fees. Regretfully, in 2009, these new regulations resulted in cutting my established budget to run a 17-county program by one-half. This necessitated the layoff of needed employees and termination of insurance benefits that an employer is now going to be required to provide.

While we all most likely have read about a guardian who has mismanaged a client’s funds, there are many more of us who do just the opposite for little compensation to support our much needed programs. Most of my own clients are on Medicaid, for which Texas has set a limit to the fee a guardian can be compensated. For the regulated $175 per month for a client on Medicaid, a guardian: (1) is on call 24 hours a day / 7 days a week; (2) applies for and monitors the client’s financial assistance programs; (3) interacts with health care providers to give adequate care and supervision to the client; 4) is called on to make qualified life and death treatment decisions on behalf of the client; and (5) is often under the scrutiny of family members and/or friends who have made a choice not to be their loved one’s guardian, for whatever reason that one may consider just or unjust.

Full Article & Source:
Sheila Collier: Are guardians helping or harming the elderly?