I have mentioned on my blog that the Ohio Supreme court has recently put new requirements in place for guardians of adults. There was already a couple paragraphs of laws concerning this but now they have added to this – 9 pages.
Guardians are now required to take a six hour fundamentals class the first year and a continuing 3 hour class each year thereafter for as long as you are a guardian of an adult. The rules were put in place officially on June 1, 2015. My mother and I each received letters of the new requirements from our county’s Court of Common Pleas somewhere around the middle of June since we are co-guardians of my brother, John.
(We didn’t know anything like this had been coming, so we were a little shocked and it took some time to process what exactly we were being asked to do).
After some fails, we were finally registered for the class.
We attended the Adult Guardianship Fundamentals class this past Tuesday.
There were close to 100 adult guardians in attendance. We were told the importance of staying for the entire six hours.
We had two knowledgeable instructors. One was an attorney from Columbus whose practice focuses in the area of disability law. He also has a daughter who is disabled, so he knew coming in from many angles the types of issues that are faced when a family member is developmentally disabled.
The other instructor had presented 550 workshops in the past decade relating to aging issues.
Here is something I hadn’t thought of going in. Some people are Guardians of Adults because of an aging parent or relative with dementia. So while the attorney brought forth a lot of relevant information for my mother and I, the other instructor did not. Now, she was very knowledgeable about the new guardianship laws and rules but her part mainly pertained to guardians of the elderly. Even the example we were given and referred to for the duration of the class was for an elderly lady from Mexico who had dementia. She also spoke about guardians of an estate. My brother, John, doesn’t really have an estate.
Now while I do understand that Tuesday was only the 2nd time the Adult Guardianship Fundamentals class had ever been offered, yet I hope that in the future they may separate the two types of guardians. While some issues may have been similar, there was quite a bit of time spent on items that didn’t pertain to our situation. I did try to keep in mind that some day I may need to become a guardian of an elderly person, namely, my parents; (you know, to try to make it relevant for me) but – on that day – I was really there for John.
I am just one of those types of people who do not like to have my time wasted. It drives me crazy! There were times that I felt like I was just there for the sake of putting in my six hours. Many questions that were asked were given the answer “We don’t know, yet.” because the rules and laws are so new. It was very much like the cart was put before the horse. Much more planning needed to be done for these courses.
With that being said… I did learn quite a bit of useful information. We were given tons of resources to go to if we ever have any question about our adult guardianship. I took tons of notes and I am sure I will use my manual as a reference in the future.
For the most part, Mom and I are going to have to communicate a lot more with our county’s Court of Common Pleas. We now have forms, goals and plans that we will need to write our and update yearly. (They are still working on what these may look like). I am hoping we can do this together since we are John’s co-guardians, but we will have to ask the court for sure.
If anyone is a guardian of an adult in Ohio,(this includes those with disabilities or the elderly) be aware of these new laws. If you have not received any notice in the mail as of yet, contact your county’s Court of Common Pleas for more information on classes being offered and other new requirements you may need to abide by.