We believe it’s important to protect the interests of incapacitated adults who may be vulnerable to exploitation, neglect or injury.
Your support allows United Way of Jackson County to fund an Adult Guardian Program. These guardians and conservators are court-appointed to advocate and make decisions on care, custody, medical treatment and finances. Your support stops crimes like fraud and abuse; in many cases, your support saves the lives of adults who can’t help themselves.
Betty’s neighbors were aware of her. They knew she was in her mid-60s, developmentally disabled and living alone. They were aware, but they didn’t really know her. That’s why it took a few days for one of Betty’s neighbors to realize they hadn’t seen her in a while. It took another day for that neighbor to mention it to another neighbor. It took another 24 hours for their concern to grow to the point that they called the police. When no one answered their repeated knocks, the police kicked in the door and entered Betty’s home.
What they found was horrific.
The house was unkempt and unsanitary. Betty was alive but unresponsive, surrounded by empty liquor bottles, lying in her urine and waste. She had a wound on her leg that was infested with maggots. An ambulance took Betty to Henry Ford Allegiance Health. Betty’s case was reported to Jackson County’s Adult Protective Services. They could not locate a family member to make decisions on Betty’s behalf. The Jackson County Guardian Program was appointed Temporary Guardian and Conservator. A Guardian addressed Betty’s medical issues after she was discharged from the hospital, coordinating placement in a safe community living arrangement that met her needs. The Guardian also arranged for treatment for Betty’s alcoholism.
Betty will need assistance for the foreseeable future, but her life is no longer that horrific scene found by the first responders. The program you helped to support through your generous gifts to United Way of Jackson County has forged a pathway for Betty to have a life of stability.
All of the Guardian Program’s clients have their basic needs met. You are helping people who are unable to help themselves. Your support makes a difference.