The National Center for Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) is recognized February 1st as Conservatorship and Guardianship Abuse Awareness Day by raising awareness about the potential abuses of power that can occur within the guardianship system.
According to NCLER, adult guardianship is an intervention of last resort that can transfer most of an adult’s fundamental rights to another person, a guardian. Courts sometimes appoint guardians to protect adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation when the adult’s decisional capabilities may have been impaired by a disability or illness. In some cases, however, guardians actually become the perpetrators of the very abuse the guardianship was intended to prevent. There are many cases, including those involving older adults, which may also require zealous legal advocacy to address abuse within the guardianship system.
Legal assistance, elder rights, and aging service professionals can utilize NCLER and partner resources to learn more about guardianship abuse, how to spot it, how to avoid unnecessary guardianships in the first place, and how to terminate abusive or unnecessary guardianships as soon as possible.
- NCLER: Legal Basic: Overview of Guardianship and Alternatives to Guardianship (Recording, Chapter Summary, PowerPoint)
- NCLER: When the Guardian is an Abuser (Webcast, Issue Brief and Checklist)
- NCLER: Elder Justice Toolkit
- NCLER: Using Decision Supports to Avoid Guardianship (Recording, Chapter Summary, PowerPoint)
- NCLER: Using Alternatives to Guardianship to Defend Against or Terminate Guardianship (Recording, Chapter Summary, PowerPoint)
- NCLER: Guardianship Termination and Restoration of Rights (Recording, Chapter Summary, PowerPoint)
- National Center on Elder Abuse: Guardianship: Remedy vs. Enabler of Elder Abuse
National Center on Elder Abuse: Ten Ways to Reduce Guardianship Abuse