Ontario Ministry of Health reverses course on guardianship requirement for disabled woman
“When the Department of Health first released the ‘Guidelines for the Provision of Assisted Living and/or Personal Care Services for Adults with Special Needs,’ in April 2017, they said that guardianship was not required for people with special needs. However, we have seen that we are not complying with the guidelines,” explained Teresa Dank, who is advocating for a guardianship requirement for people with disabilities in her own right.
“This has been a concern for me since the beginning of my special needs advocacy, and I am glad to see that this change has finally been approved by the ministry. The goal of this change is to enable more people to live independently in Ontario. To ensure this, a guardianship should be adopted to enable these individuals to have access to critical services — whether it is for nursing care, social assistance, or other types of assistance.”
“I am grateful to the Ministry of Health for recognizing the importance of guardianship as a solution to the issues faced by people with disabilities,” noted Teresa Dank, who is also an advocate with the Coalition for the Rights of Seniors. “To help people who have a disability live the best quality of lives possible, it is not enough to give them care and support.”
“We are now in the position where we can apply for a guardianship if asked. Guardianship would be a legal requirement and would help ensure that the government is providing the necessary support required to ensure that my loved one can have the quality of life she deserves.”
“My goal is to have my loved one live independently for as long as possible. My hope is that once a guardian has been appointed, she will continue to advocate for the right to guardianship for people with disabilities.”
“If you have a loved one that is in a nursing facility or a long-term care facility, and a guardian has been appointed by the government, is there anything you hope the person will have access to, such as a support plan?” asked Maria Sánchez, who asked for this follow-up question.
“Yes. The best outcome would be to have my loved one living with a community living arrangement, as that would allow her to continue her education.”
“Once she has completed her education, she could then apply for