To Our Volunteer Guardian Program Volunteers

Mar 26, 2020

To our Volunteer Guardian Program volunteers………….

As you know, the COVID-19 virus is making a significant impact on our community at-large, as well as on our individual family, work and every-day lives.

Please know that your health and wellness is our first priority.  As a volunteer guardian, you will have the continued support of the Volunteer Guardian Program that you need to serve as an advocate for your ward(s) and to rest-assured that they will continue to be well cared for by their facility caretakers.

While the long-term care facilities have suspended outside visitations, there are things you can do that will help keep tabs on what is happening to your ward and to continue to make decisions in their best interest.   Some things to help you during this period:

1)            The long-term facilities and group homes are accepting calls so that you can check on your ward(s) and assist in any necessary decision making.  Additionally, many facilities will do the quarterly care conference via telephone.  Your wards will also appreciate calls, cards or even a care package. 

2)            The Probate Court has suspended most in-person hearings until further notice.  The Court understands that, if you have a previously scheduled appointment hearing , you could not make your required  pre-hearing visit to the ward.  Once they can resume normal activity, the Court will notify you when your full-guardianship hearing is scheduled.   You would schedule a pre-hearing visit at that time, also.

3)            The Court remains open and continues to work to protect all wards.  I have attached an updated contact sheet, which includes information on who to contact at the Court should you have any concerns about your ward’s care or a change in their circumstances.  Your case paperwork indicates the name of the Court Investigator assigned to your ward’s case.

4)            The Volunteer Guardian Program office is open.  Please call or email if you have any questions or need information as you navigate the coming weeks. 

Looking forward, we continue to get case referrals from the Court and are actively recruiting volunteers.  Our hope is that once things return to normal, we will quickly get up to speed to fill cases and train volunteers.   We have some things planned that that we think you will enjoy, also.   These include:

1)            A Mental Health training conducted by Dr. Doug Smith of the ADM Board and Dr. Eileen Schwartz of Community Support Services.

2)            A Medicaid training conducted by representatives of the Department of Job & Family Services.

3)            An Alzheimer’s and dementia training conducted by The Alzheimer’s Association.

4)            Our 3rd Annual Holiday Shop – to help cheer our wards at the holiday and to give our volunteers a chance to network and talk to representatives from Medicaid and Direction Home’s nursing home Ombudsman, as well as other service providers. 

5)            Be sure to check out our Volunteer Guardian Program website updated blog at

Thank you for your continued service to the Volunteer Guardian Program!  You are always welcome to call Mary Ann at 330-697-4044 or Julie at 330-703-5970 or email us at

Best regards from all of us.