Training and Education

We provide resources for current and future caregivers

Increasingly, there are many organizations and advocacy groups calling for better education and supports for guardians and also for families and caregivers for older adults. 

Project Guardianship shares its multidisciplinary model and capacity-building practices with others, both direct service providers and those who serve older adults and adults with disabilities.

One of the recommendations in Project Guardianship’s 2019 Guardianship Report is to provide greater system-wide support for family and friends who become a guardian and caretaker for their loved one. Being a guardian is hard work — navigating all guardianship responsibilities can be quite challenging and support is scarce.

Unfortunately, family and lay guardians lack the supports to fully understand their legal responsibilities as guardians (even for a loved one), and the consequences to a failure to abide by court orders or the guardianship (or conservatorship) laws in their states. This puts a guardian at risk of being removed and replaced by a professional or third-party guardian, despite their very best intentions and even over a minor mistake.

We believe that there is an opportunity to better prepare family members or friends for the role of guardians to allay the reliance on the use of public guardians and private attorneys, while providing better care for a person in need of a guardian. Often, the appointment of a family or friend guardian who knows the individual well will understand their needs and which will allow a person to remain in their own home and avoid institutionalization and a nursing home.

For guardians, there is a lot to learn about guardianship court processes, reporting requirements, fiduciary responsibilities, marshaling income and assets, accessing public benefits, making medical and end-of-life decisions, and much more.

Supports for Caregivers and Families

Caring for a loved one when they become older or are living with a physical, mental, or cognitive limitation can be challenging. There is a serious gap in the resources readily available to families and caregivers, with or without taking on the formal role of guardian. There is also a lack of resources available when exploring caregiver roles — should one become a formal guardian to their loved one — is it necessary? What other options should be considered?

All caregivers should have the resources, information and best practices that will prepare them to oversee a wide variety of healthcare, homecare, housing, benefits, budget, finance, and other basic needs (and specifically, court requirements and reporting if they are guardians). 

Caregivers and guardians would benefit from other supports, including end-of-life care and decision making, and elder care and estate planning, that have the potential to positively impact the life of an older adult or person living with a disability. 

The object of Project Guardianship’s Training and Educational Supports program is to fill the gaps described and to assist family members or friends in their role of caregivers in all of its multiple aspects (and with or without assuming the formal role of guardian).

With the rising needs of an aging population, increased rates of dementia and mental illness, increased poverty among older adults, and more people aging alone because of changing family dynamics, now is the time to find solutions and to bolster the support networks for older adults and adults living with disabilities in as many ways as possible.