The Center for At-Risk Elders (CARE) is a non-profit, lawyer-led team of advocates guarding Indiana’s neglected, abused, and exploited elders.
It is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
CARE’s civil justice focus centers on providing legal services to establish adult guardianships where appropriate. These services uniquely focus on offering emergency guardianship intervention services. These services are designed to offer protection for elders who are actively being exploited financially, abused, or neglected, and for those at imminent risk of being so. This includes situations of self-neglect. It also includes circumstances of exploitation, abuse or neglect at the hands of relatives or others.
CARE provides “legal horsepower” to other Indiana non-profit groups that provide volunteer guardianship programs. CARE also provides assistance to private attorneys capable of representing private guardians, but perhaps ill equipped to handle emergency guardianship interventions.
CARE is funded through a combination of revenue streams including grants, donations, and fees paid by clients based upon their ability to pay.
Indiana’s Adult Protective Services (APS) program, which is mandated by federal law, is the only state program in America that is structured as a criminal justice function. Unlike Indiana’s APS program, CARE’s focus is on providing civil remedies to redress, and protect against, elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Starting in June of 2013, CARE assumed the responsibilities of the Wishard Volunteer Advocates Program, which is now known as the CARE Volunteer Advocates Program. Wishard developed the highly successful volunteer program to provide well-trained volunteers to serve as surrogate decision-makers for unbefriended incapacitated adults who found themselves as patients at Wishard Hospital. Through its transition to CARE, Wishard set the stage for the expansion of such services to the broader Indianapolis community.
Since launching its Volunteer Advocates Program, CARE has served as guardian for over 370 at-risk men and women in Central Indiana.
In addition to these program services, CARE serves as a resource to professionals and the general public on issues relating to the challenge of providing care to elders in crisis or in need of protection.