|Dennis Royse (Photo Credit Josh Hicks)|
Like CASA, the adult guardianship program will pair volunteers with someone (in this case someone over 18 years old) who needs an advocate to look out for their wellbeing. For adults, the person must be deemed incapacitated by a judge.
Royse said "incapacitated" could mean several things, including mental illness, developmental disabilities or dementia. He pointed out that not everyone — especially the elderly - has a loved one who is willing or able to look out for them.
In 2015, almost 200 adults were deemed incapacitated and in need of services in Clark County. Data for the first nine months of 2016 were on track to reach the same number, according to Circuit Court Judge Andrew Adams.
"Most of those guardianships we locate an attorney to do it or someone contacts an attorney," Adams said. "This program is for the people who don't have the money to get an attorney. They're out there."
Most of the adults who end up in Adams' court to be evaluated are referred by Adult Protective Services or local longterm care facilities. Royse said he's already getting calls from facilities looking for volunteer guardians.
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Clark County Adult Guardianship Program Taking Shape