The Adult Guardianship Services Program provides legal guardianship for clients 60 years of age or older who are unable to make medical and financial decisions on their own behalf and have no one able or suitable to serve in this capacity. Guardianship is a legal process where someone is appointed by a court to make decisions for an incapacitated person. A physician’s statement is required as evidence at a court hearing, which describes the nature and scope of the incapacity and need for a guardian. The program utilizes volunteers who serve as Guardian Volunteer Advocates (GVA) for individual clients. The GVA visits, monitors care, and advocates for their client.
The Guardianship Program has served as the court appointed legal guardian for over 295 individuals in St. Joseph, Marshall and Elkhart Counties since the establishment of the program in 1994. The majority of the clients served reside in long-term care facilities; however the guardianship program makes every effort to allow clients to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. This program also refers endangered adults to other service providers when guardianship services are not appropriate.
Please feel free to contact us at 574-284-7178 or 800-552-7928, ext. 7178 (in Indiana only) or email us at: email@example.com
Any interested adult can make a referral to the Guardianship Program. A complete referral must include both a referral form and a physician’s report. Links to these forms are included below. Please note that the physician’s statement must include a dementia diagnosis or other diagnosis which results in the individual being mentally incapacitated. These documents may be faxed to (574) 284-2693 or may be mailed to the address below.
St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall County Guardianship Referral Form
Physician's Report Forms: Marshall County, Elkhart County, St. Joseph County
Please Mail to:
REAL Services, Inc.
Attn: Guardianship Program
P.O. Box 1835
South Bend, IN 46634