WE PROVIDE TRAINED VOLUNTEERS TO SERVE AS LEGAL GUARDIANS TO INCAPACITATED ADULTS IN CENTRAL NEW JERSEY
Did you know that there are hundreds of incapacitated adults over age 60 who have been deemed by the courts to be in need of a conservator or guardian? These individuals have no family or friends willing or able to serve in this role. Instead, the state's Public Guardian facilitates medical decision-making, legal representation, social and clinical oversight and coordination of services, and provides financial and real/personal property management for these individuals. The population in need of public guardianship has grown each year for the last 5 years.
Volunteer Guardianship One on One’s mission is to fill the demand in public guardianship through a community guardianship approach. We are the only non-profit organization in New Jersey to provide this service, and one of only a handful throughout the country. We realized 20 years ago that Hunterdon County had the resources and determination within our own county to establish an organization to recruit, train, and provide ongoing support to individuals willing to serve as legal guardians for incapacitated adults. Once a volunteer is appointed to an incapacitated individual, Volunteer Guardianship provides the guardian fiduciary oversight, reporting support, and help with health and social service coordination.
We are a 501(c)3 social service organization that receives 80% of our funding through individual, corporate, and foundation donations. The balance of our funding comes from court designated guardianship commissions. Thanks to the generosity of the Hunterdon and Somerset County community, we have been able to provide the following services in the past 5 years:
- Guardianship services to 37 incapacitated adults with a median guardianship duration of 3.6 years.
- Enrolled 19 incapacitated adults in Medicaid
- Trained and supported 20 volunteers who served as legal guardians
- Provided instances of Interim Guardianship (where we provide an emergency guardian to individual admitted to a hospital)
- Enlisted 2 of the state’s 12 certified guardians to serve on the Board of Trustees
- Conducted 10 community education events on eldercare and guardianship issues, reaching over 400 attendees per year.
Volunteer Guardianship One on One has made an impact on more than just the individuals we care for, through our additional guardianship services, we have reached older adults planning for their future healthcare needs, home health and nursing facility administrators, and local and concerned caregivers in Hunterdon County. We provide sustainable, supervised guardianship services, while ensuring the adults under our care receive the highest quality health, legal, social, and end-of-life services through substitute decision making. We couldn’t offer this service without the support of the Surrogate’s Office, local nursing homes and hospitals, and community volunteers.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer at Volunteer Guardianship One on One, or to learn more about establishing a community guardianship practice in your own community, please contact Linda Patrick, Volunteer Coordinator at 908-483-5009 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT GUARDIANSHIP IN NEW JERSEY
In the next 15 years, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. A growing number of older adults will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other incapacitating illnesses, and will be dependent on a caretaker or guardian to make health and welfare decisions on their behalf.
DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE IN NEED?
Can you imagine not being able to manage many areas of your life due to various involuntary reasons, and at the same time have NO family or friends able to assist you when you have to make important life decisions? That's where Volunteer Guardianship One-on-One can help.