Guardianship Services, a program of Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, provides legal guardians to serve as concerned, caring advocates and surrogate decision-makers for adults who cannot care for themselves.
LMM has been the sole provider of guardianship services to the indigent, incompetent adults in Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties for over 29 years.
Guardianship Services provide legal guardians to serve as concerned, caring advocates and surrogate decision-makers for adults who cannot care for themselves. Guardians make sure basic needs are met and look after the emotional, social, financial and physical well-being of these vulnerable adults and advocate for the least restrictive living environment possible.
Typically, older adults under guardianship have some form of dementia and reside in nursing facilities or assisted living. Other adults under guardianship have a severe mental illness and reside in assisted living or a community setting. Often there is no family, or they are estranged because of alcoholism, drug addiction, previous abuse, neglect or exploitation. LMM's guardians take on full decision-making responsibility for individuals under guardianship who cannot make their own decision as they cannot understand and/or comprehend such complex issues as their diagnosis, disease processes, or disease management. Guardians often make end-of-life decisions as well as funeral arrangements.
THE NEED FOR GUARDIANSHIP
National studies show that the demographics of the guardianship population (older adults with dementia and other adults with a severe mental disability) continue to grow as does the number of adults who are vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation. Seen as a model program, Guardianship Services significantly impacts the health and well-being of incompetent and indigent older adults.
"It has been a pleasure to serve as a volunteer guardian and to make a difference one life at a time."
"I have been a volunteer for a while now and love what I can do for someone who cannot do for themselves."
"I really enjoy volunteering. It's an opportunity to help those that have no one and be an advocate."
"Mr. D lived in his own apartment for 30+ years but got to the point he could not live independently anymore. His guardian helped him transition to a nursing home and though not how Mr. D wanted to live, he eventually got involved and won a few dance competitions while making several new friends."
"Mr. W was physically and financially abused by his grandson. A guardian helped to pull him out of this abusive environment. Now Mr. W is living happily in a retirement community and his pension is being used for his housing and medical needs."
"Ms. P lives in a group home where she is mistrustful of everyone. Her guardian visited weekly and was able to build trust and respect with Ms. P. As a result, Ms. P welcomed the guardian to work with her to address some of her behavioral issues. Now Ms. P has successfully decreased her hospital visits and addressed some of her medical issues."
"Staff at a facility assumed that Mr. S, an 89-year-old man would be buried at the Veteran's cemetery but his guardian took the time and respect to have a deep conversation with him where he expressed the desire to be buried by his mother. The guardian did extensive research and found the mother's burial place in a nearby county and advocated for Mr. S to have his wishes accomplished."
"When Jasmine had her stroke and was in need of a guardian when she was ready to be discharged from the hospital, none of her family members were in a position to assist in that process and I'm so thankful that LMM was able to step in."
"I don't have no one. My people all died. But I know I can count on Rose to come see me. I've improved a great deal since she's been coming. Everything is different!"
"Ms. L. was appointed an attorney to act as her guardian of estate to sell her home and manage her finances. Once her finances were in order, the guardian was able to place Ms. L. in an adult care home where she now socializes with three other residents of the home. The program was able to positively improve Ms. L.'s life by ensuring that she is living in a safe environment, having her basic needs met, and providing peace, well-being and dignity to be restored."
Since 1969, LMM has focused on serving people who are oppressed, forgotten, and hurting be empowered, valued, and healed by our unwavering commitment to addressing chronic needs, enabling people to self-sufficiency, and advocating for system change. Focusing on Housing & Shelter, Workforce Development, and Health & Wellness Services, LMM creates innovative programs serving people who are experiencing homeless, vulnerable older adults, and individuals with behavioral health needs.