The Guardianship Project provides guardianship services for older adults and people with disabilities in New York City who have been determined by a judge to be unable to care for themselves. Project staff include lawyers, social workers, and bookkeepers, who oversee an array of services—including health care, home care, and money management—and help clients to remain independent and engaged in their communities. Our services currently save the state more than $2.5 million annually in Medicaid costs, and as it grows those savings will increase significantly.
A Success Story
Many of our clients are elderly people who would be forced to move into nursing homes or institutions if we were not there for them. With our intensive case management model, we can design and implement an individualized care plan for each of our clients. It is this attention to detail that makes the Guardianship Project unique. The following story is an example of how the Guardianship Project provides assistance to people in need.
When the judge assigned Ms. M’s case to the project, the 94-year-old former nurse had not left her house in years because she easily becomes disoriented when outside her familiar environment. None of her relatives were willing to take on her care, and they were insisting that she needed to be placed in a nursing home. Instead of placing Ms. M in a nursing home, project staff arranged for a reverse mortgage, using the monthly payments to fund a network of home-based services at about half the cost of nursing home care. Staff also found a home care attendant who shares Ms. M’s Caribbean heritage—and could cook foods that she liked—and a doctor who treated her in her own home. Ms. M’s case manager visits her at least once a month. Providing this network of services at home allows Ms. M to stay in her Brooklyn house—the only place where she feels comfortable.
Why We Need This Project
Because there is no public guardianship system in New York State, judges usually appoint attorneys to serve as guardians for elderly people and people with disabilities who have no family member or friend willing to care for them. However, few attorneys take cases where the client has high needs and low assets. The Guardianship Project provides an essential support network for people who require services—regardless of their ability to pay—and helps clients improve their quality of life. Staff visit clients as frequently as needed and are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information, please contact Project Director Jacqueline Baillargeon.
The Guardianship Project is located at:
320 Jay Street
4th Floor – Rm#4110
Brooklyn, NY 11201
P.O. Box 2-5106
Brooklyn, NY 11202