Community joins adult guardianship discussion

Community members are bringing their backgrounds and expertise to the conversation surrounding an expanded adult guardianship program in Porter County.

Porter County Aging and Community Services’ board of directors and staff members are working with these interested individuals as well as Amber Poff, executive director and staff attorney at LaPorte-based Indiana Guardianship Services.

IGS is already serving a limited number of individuals in Porter County who are in need of a guardian, but many more are on a waiting list, said Bruce Lindner, PCACS executive director.

“It all started with a casual conversation with Amber. The reason for the meeting with our community members was to get a handle on what our organization can do and receive some insights from the community,” he said. “It helps to receive ideas from those who have worked in the field.”

Poff had recently detailed what her agency is all about and how it serves the community to the PCACS board. The program allows the agency to serve as a guardian for adults who have been adjudicated incapacitated and have no other viable alternative for a guardian. The agency utilizes trained professionals as well as volunteers to advocate for at-risk adults.

Attorney Christopher M. Ripley of Blachly, Tabor, Bozik & Hartman, who does work in the elder law arena, Marti Pizzini, who is retired and had worked in the home health care industry, and Joe Frankus, who had served an Illinois legal aid organization as an elder law attorney, all joined the discussion.

“Guardianship can be for those without anyone or who are alienated from their families,” Pizzini said. “If a family has always been dysfunctional, getting older doesn’t make it any better.”

“We can think about educating with forms on the (PCACS) Web site,” Frankus said, which would help with situations where the families are involved. “This is a growing problem with Baby Boomers aging and living longer and having to be taken care of longer.”

Helping collect information in one area on the PCACS Web site and possibly having knowledgeable volunteers on-site periodically could be initial first steps to establishing a larger presence for an adult guardianship program in the county, Lindner said.

“I would like to see PCACS provide services for those who have nothing and nobody,” said PCACS board member Kim Wiseman. “We need to be supporting that aspect for those at the end of their lives with no one to turn to.”

Working with Poff’s organization would help serve those who fall into this area, Lindner said.

“We will continue to discuss this much-needed service and evaluate the best steps to move forward,” he said. “It was extremely useful to gather like-minded individuals who have insight and expertise to offer.

“This is a program that needs more attention. Can we help it along?”   

Community members who have input on this subject should contact Lindner at (219) 465-7144 or bhlindner@portercountyacs.org.

Good Deeds Day impacts clients, bus riders

Porter County Aging and Community Services recently lent a helping hand to spread cheer and celebrate the region’s giving spirit by participating in Good Deeds Day, an international initiative to impact individuals all around the world.

PCACS hosted a toiletries drive, accepting personal care item donations for distribution to its clients and transportation service participants.

Section 8 Housing Director Valerie Martinez, who led the effort, said the agency disbursed 50 packages to its bus riders recently and also will be giving bar soap to clients in need in the future.

“We would like to give a special shout-out to donors Ashley McCracken and the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry,” she said. “We are able to impact about 150 clients by giving them items that they need on a daily basis.”

She said the agency was also able to use funds through Amazon Smile as the non-profit is registered as a charitable organization at smile.amazon.com. When community members shop through this Web site, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases to PCACS.

PCACS Executive Director Bruce Lindner said the community’s response showcases how much Porter County residents strive to make a difference every day.

“We are so appreciative of our community members’ support. We are so fortunate to be part of our region where giving back is truly like second nature,” he said.

Church members tackle projects at PCACS work day

Porter County Aging and Community Services was recently on the receiving end of a community service initiative.

The Valparaiso Nazarene Church team came out to PCACS offices to help with lingering projects, including painting the back wall of our building, removing an unneeded portion of a fence, trimming some trees and reorganizing office space with the moving of a cubicle.

“We want to be a church that exists in and for the community. We simply want to be a blessing. We have a great group of people that want to make an impact and form partnerships with those who are doing so many great things for our area,” said the church’s Connections Pastor Eric Wood. “We had been connected with PCACS last year and because of all they do for the community, we wanted to continue to help by tackling some things, so they could focus on their main goal.”

PCACS Executive Director Bruce Lindner said the work day illustrates what can be accomplished when community members come together.

“It was wonderful to see church members unite to help us check these projects off our to-do list,” he said. “We are so appreciative of the church’s team members for taking the time on a Saturday to serve the community.”

Wood said getting out in the community is an important component of the church’s mission.

“It is not enough that we exist within the four walls of the church facility. We have been blessed and want to be a blessing to those who we share life within our community,” he added. “It gives us an opportunity to use the gifts, talents and abilities of our people and help connect them to different places that they may not normally have a place to interact with.” 

Office Space available: 2,500 square feet, cubicles, private bathroom, kitchen area, small offices, large space, multiple points of access for public and employees and 11 parking spaces. Call 219-464-9736 if interested.

support us while shopping!

PCACS is registered as a charitable organization at smile.amazon.com. 
When you shop through this Web site, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases to PCACS. 

AmazonSmile is a Web site, operated by Amazon, that lets you enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features that you find on Amazon.com.

On your first visit, you will be prompted to select a charitable organization to receive the donations. Then AmazonSmile will remember your selection and future eligible purchases you make on AmazonSmile will result in a donation to PCACS. 

In order for the purchases to count, you must shop through the Smile Web site each time vs. the regular Amazon Web site.

Nipsco TV with child.JPG

Thank you Nipsco!

We are so appreciative of the support that we received from NIPSCO. The company has sponsored our new TV, which will be enjoyed by our clients and utilized by our staff for training.

chairlift.jpg

Chair lift available

We have received a like-new Acorn chair lift as a donation from a community member!
Do you know someone who could use this?
It would need to be picked up and installed by the recipient's family or friends.
We would be happy to accept a donation for the stair lift if the recipient wishes to do so.
It is not too heavy and will fit easily in the back of a pick-up truck.
Contact Bruce Lindner at 219-464-9736 or email bhlindner@portercountyacs.org for questions or if interested.

Our Newsletters

Stay on top of our latest news by checking out our latest newsletter. 

Find our past news in our archived newsletters.