Coronavirus Deaths Encourage New Elder Law Guidelines

Delegates for the Association for Behavioral Analysis’ recently approved several guidelines related to the news of older people in the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of these proposals, Resolution 603, adopts recommendations from a Guardian Summit and ultimately encourages all regulators to incorporate these measures when revising guardianship laws. The spokesperson who introduced the measure stated that more individuals have grown cognizant of it, but that guardianship is a widespread issue.

The proposals made during this meeting are best divided into several areas: the rights of guardianships, assisted decision-choosing, restricted guardianship, arrangements providing protection, diversions of pipelines, monitoring guardianships, facing abuse, fiscal responsibility, fiscal hardships, and guardianship improvement.

Important Suggestions Made During the Meeting

Some of the most valuable proposals that were made during this recent meeting include:

  • Courts should ensure that all court proceedings that might influence a person’s  liberties include sufficient due process 
  • State regulations should order courts  of law to review supported decision-making as a secondary choice to guardianship, regardless of whether or not it has yet been imposed
  • States should establish guardianship diversion programs that create alternatives to guardianship and lower the chances that unnecessary guardianship will be granted
  • States, as well as courts of law, should increase the safety of adults in guardianships by creating post-appointment, person-maintained monitoring
  • States should make funding available to agencies to implement and supervise certificate or license processes
  • Lawmakers should create a guardianship court improvement program designed after the child welfare improvement program from 1993 

Response to the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting

During the 2022 midyear meeting, the House of Delegates adopted a proposal that requested Congress establish and fund a guardianship court improvement program to support the efforts of states to strengthen adult guardianship programs. A spokesperson from the Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law commented that this measure is vital due to the burden created by inefficient guardianship systems and is likely to disproportionately impact underprivileged areas. 

By September 2021, approximately a dozen states have passed measurements in their laws connected to these recommendations. Congress is also debating the possibility of federal reforms through the Guardianship Accountability Act.

Resolution 601

Resolution 601, which is sponsored by various organizations including the Aging and Law Commission requests that Congress, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, establish a national entity tasked with performing reviews of nursing facilities to ensure that disclosure that audits nursing facility ownership reports to ensure disclosure of all owners is received. This included both parents as well as management and property companies. The measure also asks these entities to focus more on nursing facilities by enabling the Center for Medicaid Services to review nursing homes to feature details on nursing facilities owned by the same entities. 

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