Senior citizen advocates sworn in by judge


August 21, 2014 – Times Staff

The newest members of the Franciscan St. Margaret Health Hammond Volunteer Advocates for Seniors Program were sworn in this summer by Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Kavadias Schneider during a ceremony in her courtroom.

The program’s purpose is “to provide volunteer limited guardian services to protect the health, well-being and safety of unfriended, decisionally incapable, elderly persons who are ill and at-risk in hospital, long-term care and hospice facilities in Northwest Indiana,” according to its mission statement.

The initiative, which was the brainchild of hospital President Tom Gryzbek in 2001, formed a partnership with the court the following year, then developed community partnerships and received Indiana Supreme Court approval.

The program, which has expanded statewide, provides a problem-solving mechanism for seniors that is facilitated between health care providers and the courts. Clients are accepted regardless of economic status and receive guardianship services at no cost.

For more information, or to become a volunteer, call Vanessa Nathan, program manager, at (219) 932-2300, ext. 33373; or LaVonne Jarrett, program coordinator, at (219) 932-2300, ext. 37907.