Mary Phillips was diagnosed at a young age as “mildly retarded” with an IQ of 64. Her mother also had a slight disability. Together they were able to support each other through their day-to-day lives. Mary even held a steady job for 15 years at the local diner. This family had no concept of long-term planning and there was no plan for the future. Then it happened — Mary’s mother died and Mary had to face the world on her own at the age of 46. The results were disastrous. Mary went to the funeral home every day for guidance for that is the last place she received help with her decisions. She had never had any type of public assistance, public aid had a lien on her mother’s home for past medical bills, and Mary had not filed her taxes in 10 years. To complicate matters, Mary gained 15 inches in abdominal girth in one month. She urgently needed medical attention. It was clear that Mary could not make it on her own and the funeral director called Lifecare Innovations for help.
Lifecare Innovations met Mary and quickly sorted out the priorities. She was unable to manage on her own, she needed immediate medical attention and she had no means of supporting herself (she had lost her job due to her illness). It was clear that she needed someone to make personal and financial decisions on her behalf. An emergency guardianship petition was filed and Lifecare Guardianship, Inc. (LCG) became her guardian. The first goal was to get her medical attention. Mary was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was hospitalized and received comprehensive treatment for her condition. She had no insurance which became a major concern with her need for ongoing treatment. There was a small amount of money left for her by a relative and, fortunately, it was in a special needs trust which made her eligible for government entitlements. LCG was able to apply for public assistance which provided her with medical care and coverage for the rehabilitation stay in the nursing home. Once recovered, Mary needed a place to live that was more age appropriate. LCG found a community-based home for individuals with developmental disabilities that was covered under her entitlements.
Mary thrived in the home with the guidance of a solid program and case workers. She had survived her medical problems and fully recovered. Since she was now “in the system”, she had financial support for medical and living expenses. Her limited IQ would have prevented her from successfully accessing the system without help, however once under the protection of a government-supported program, she was able to make good and solid decisions for her life.
Guardianship is a necessity when a person is unable to make life and financial decisions for themselves. Mary’s decisions gradually became more organized with added support. Her care needs and financial matters became less complex upon establishment of her entitlements. LCG began a restoration process and the guardianship was terminated three years after it was established. Mary is healthy and living and working in the community. She now is in charge of her own life with the guidance of the case workers supplied by her program. LCG has been honored to play a part in getting her life on track, enabling her to take charge of herself to the greatest degree that her disability will allow.