On May 24, Judge Heather Barajas led the swearing-in ceremony for the first trained Volunteer Guardian Advocate for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults in Montgomery County.
The Wabash Center’s Montgomery Adult Guardianship Services (MAGS) recruits, trains, supports and supervises volunteers to serve as limited guardians appointed by the Montgomery County Superior Court.

The new volunteer works for a hospice agency in Crawfordsville, but White declined to share his name.

“He came and just wanted more information about our program,” Sharon White, program coordinator for MAGS, said. “When I told him what we do, he asked to become one of my volunteers.”

The newly appointed MAGS volunteer is the first in Montgomery County but he joins a network of volunteer guardian advocates across the state of Indiana. She said volunteers’ daily activity is dependent on the individuals that are under guardianship.
“The volunteer’s primary responsibility is to visit regularly with the individual and make sure that all of their needs are being met,” she said.

White said 90 percent of the individuals that they have guardianship over have either outlived their other family members or their family member have abandoned them. She said a volunteer could help a patient decide whether or not to pursue chemotherapy treatment for leukemia or just meet with them and read to them.
Most of her volunteers currently assist with individuals who reside in a nursing facility and suffer from dementia that has left them mentally incapacitated.
Funding for the program is provided by the state of Indiana VASIA Grant, Wabash Center, and Montgomery County.
MAGS currently has seven adults in need of an advocate in Montgomery County.
Interested persons, who are 21 or a full-time college student over the age of 18, can contact White at 765-423-5531 to get more information on the application process.