Updated: Oct 22

David Godfrey, American Bar Association Commission on Law and aging

When Courts appoint a family member or friend as a guardian or conservator of an adult, the guardian is sometimes left with minimal training on their role. The family member or friend must step into the important role without a clear understanding of what to do. or how to be a good guardian or conservator. This Practice Tip is not a substitute for thorough guardianship training; it is intended to introduce family guardians to basic guardian tips. While the exact terms vary from state to state, these tips use "guardian" for both guardians and conservators.

10 Tips for Guardians of Adults

1. Maintain separate financial accounts

~Maintain separate bank or brokerage accounts titled as instructed by the court or your attorney and keep the individual's money in a separate place.

2. Keep detailed records

~Save receipts for everything you can, and write every expenditure or decision down. Keep notes for every conversation or visit, even if the notes are very simple. It is important to create a record of what you have done to help the person. These records are essential in filing reports and responding to any questions about your actions.

3. Only use persons' money and property for their benefit.

~The income, money, and property of the person should be used to meet the needs of the person and to provide for the best qualify of life possible for the person. Do not use the money to support others with out consulting the Court.

4. File timely reports

~Find out what reports the court experts, including what needs to be in the reports, how to file them and when they are due. Always carefully prepare and file all reports on time.

5. Regularly talk with the person

~The best way to help anyone is to communicate honestly and openly with them. Always keep the person informed and seek their input on all decisions.

6.Spend time together

~Time spent together will result in better quality of life and a better experience for both of you.

7. Provide social contact

~Restricting visits or isolating the person from family and friends is harmful and threatens an individual's quality of life. Find opportunities for valuable interaction. The more interaction a person has, the more likely it is that a family or friend can spot any potential health care issues, financial or abuse threats, and help avoid or remedy them.

8. Remember the dignity in choice

There is dignity in choice. Safeguarding from unreasonable risk does not require elimination of all choices. Create an opportunity for the person to make choices that carry little risk, such as choices about clothing, food, and interactions with family.

9. Safeguard the persons' rights

~As a guardian, your role is to protect the persons' rights. Help the person exercise their rights to the greatest extent possible.

10.Reassess the Need to Continue the Guardianship

~If the Guardianship was the result of an illness or injury, the person may recover. Some guardianships, were never necessary. Look at the PRACTICAL Guide to help review the need for guardianship.

*National Center on Law & Elder Rights

Updated: Oct 6

McKinney-Vento eligible children are those who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime abode. In general, children or youth living in motels, transitional housing, shelters, the street, cars, abandoned buildings, and other inadequate accommodations may be considered eligible for McKinney-Vento services. This includes, but is not limited to, the following group:

*Double-up Children-living with another family due to lack of permanent residence.

*Children in Shelters-Including transitional living programs.

*Children Living in Motels-Due to lack of alternative adequate living situation.

*Migratory Children-If accommodations are not fir for habitation.

*Unaccompanied Homeless Youth-Child not in the physical custody of their parent or court-ordered guardian and lack a fixed, regular and adequate abode including children who have left home and lived doubled-up/couch surfing, in a shelter or inadequate accommodations, even if parents are willing to provide a home or children whose parents or guardians will not permit them to live at home.

Mckinney-Vento Children-What are their rights?

The education for homeless children and youth program, as part of the Mckinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act ensues eligible children have the right to:

Choice of School-Mckinney-Veto Eligible children may attend their school of origin (school last attended or school attended when child lost permanent housing) or attend the school that serves their temporary living situation. Their Caregiver makes the choice.

Immediate Enrollment-even if medical or other records, birth certificates, transcript, cannot be produced at time of enrollment.

Transportation-if requested, transportation must be provided.

Preschool-priority consideration to preschool programs for eligible youngsters.

Free Lunch & Fee waivers-Categorically eligible for free lunch.

Access to remote learning-including meals, devices and WIFI access.

Supplemental tutoring-If needed

For more information you can access the contact information for your local Regional McKinney-Vento liaison http://www.isbe.net/Documents.Subgrant-Liaion-Contact-List.pdf

Updated: Oct 9

7 steps for hiring a great in-home caregiver

When hiring a caregiver for in-home help for your older adult, you'll want to find someone who gets along with them and does a great job caring for them.

But caregiving hiring is easier said than done, especially if you've never hired anyone before.

To help you find someone wonderful, we share 7 steps to walk you through the entire process. Use these steps to find, hire, and keep the best person for the job.

1.Write a clear job description

Writing a clear job description is essential for finding candidates who are willing and able to do what's needed to care for your older adult.

To do this, carefully think through your older adult's needs so you can include all the tasks you'll expect them to do. It may help to mentally walk through a full week of care, hour by hour.

Creating a clear and specific job description will also help you figure out how many hours of care are needed, how much flexibility is needed, and how much to pay.

2. Be flexible and fair about pay if you're hiring independently.

If you're hiring independently rather than using an agency with non-negotiable rates, you may want to consider being flexible about pay so you have a chance to interview the best candidates.

In the job posting, state that the hourly rate is flexible based on experience. This often helps get responses from candidates with more experience - and that extra experience may be well worth a slightly higher rate.

It's also important to pay the going rate in your area. If you offer to pay a lot less than the average rate, the job applicants are not as likely to have the care skills your older adult needs.

To get an idea of the hourly rates in your older adult's area, look at postings for caregiving jobs that are similar to yours to get a sense for the average rates.

3. Pay Legally

You could try to save money by paying your hired caregiver cash "under the table" and skipping the employment taxes.

But if you or your caregiver gets audited by the IRS, it could men big trouble that far outweighs any potential savings.

Creating your own W-2s and tax forms isn't too difficult, but you can also get help from an accountant, use an online payroll service like intuit, or use a caregiver-focused service like Care.com Home Pay

4. Have multiple interviews and a trial period

Interviewing a potential caregiver just once doesn't give you enough information to make a good decision.

To get a more complete picture, consider having 3 interview:

  1. brief screening interview via phone to make sure they meet basic requirements.

  2. An in person interview to meet candidates who pass the phone screen.

  3. An in person interview where the top 1 or 2 candidates meet your older adult.

An interview is one thing, but real-life is something else entirely. After choosing a great caregiver candidate, it's a good idea to arrange a trial period before making the job permanent.

This gives you a chance to observe how well they get along with your older adult and how they handle the caregiving tasks. it also gives the caregiver a chance to make sure the job meets their expectations.

Get tips on setting up a trial period here.

5. Ask plenty of questions during the interview

Asking questions during the interview helps you find someone responsible, trustworthy, and compassionate.

Don't be afraid to ask questions about their past experience or ask what they would do in specific situations that often happen with your older adult.

For example, if your older adult has dementia and incontinence, ask what they would do if your older adult refused their attempts to remove the brief and get cleaned up. Or, ask how they would handle it if your older adult refused to take their medication.

For more ideas, check our list of questions to ask when hiring a caregiver here.

6. Check their reference

Even if the person you interview seemed fantastic, it's still wise to do background checks and call all of their references.

Ask how the person performed on the job, if they would hire that person again, and if they'd recommend the candidate for your job.

Since older adults are a greater risk for fraud or abuse, it's wise to check for a criminal record in all the states where the person has lived or been employed.

7. Sign an employment contract

Creating an employment contract is an important part of hiring a caregiver for in-home help.

A contract doesn't have to be complicated. The purpose of the document is to clearly lay out the details you've discussed.

Both you and the caregiver sign the documents to show that the job expectations are clear and that you both agree to the terms.

Be sure to include:

*Detailed job description


*Pay rate and pay periods

*Anything else you've agreed upon during the interview process

By: Daily Caring Editorial Team


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