STATE RESOURCES – IOWA
AREA AGENCIES ON AGING (AAA)
AAA’s advocate for policies that promote optimal aging, independent living, and adequacy of supports and services for family caregivers.
Iowa’s Planning and Service Areas (PSA) are served by Iowa’s six Area Agencies on Aging.
PSA 1: Elderbridge Area Agency on Aging
PSA 2: Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging
PSA 3: Aging Resources of Central Iowa
PSA 4: Heritage Area Agency on Aging
PSA 5: Milestones Area Agency on Aging
PSA 6: Connections Area Agency on Aging
The Arc represents, supports, and acts on behalf of individuals and their families regardless of level of ability or membership in The Arc. This is a movement to improve civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This website has materials to support Guardians and Conservators. https://www.thearcofiowa.org/
The mission of the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa is to create a better future through brain injury prevention, advocacy, education, research, and support.
Department of Human Services (DHS) (Report Dependent Adult and Child Abuse and Medicaid Fraud). DHS investigates reports of suspected child and dependent adult abuse as well as Medicaid fraud. https://biaia.org/
Medical Assistance (Medicaid – Title XIX) and the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (IHAWP) provide medically necessary health care coverage for financially needy adults, children, parents with children, people with disabilities, elderly people, and pregnant women. Medicaid is Iowa’s second largest health care payer. DHS administers this program. 1-800-338-8366 https://dhs.iowa.gov/ime/members
DRI is a private non-profit organization that is independent of state government, allowing DRI to focus on the rights of Iowa with disabilities. DRI provides legal and advocacy services to Iowans with disabilities. https://disabilityrightsiowa.org
I4a is a non-profit organization that provides support to its members, provides information to the public about the aging network, services available to older adults, individuals with disabilities, and family caregivers, as well as advocates for the aging network and the people the AAAs serve. https://i4a.org/
The Iowa Department on Aging will provide resources, tools, and support to enable Iowa Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and partners with common goals to effectively deliver core services – Information & Service Assistance, Nutrition & Health Promotions, and Services to Promote Independence – to our consumers. https://iowaaging.gov
DIA handles licensing, certification, and registration for food businesses, hotels, nursing assistants, health facilities, amusement devices, and social and charitable gambling. https://dia.iowa.gov/
Our purpose is to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and integration and inclusion in all parts of community life. We achieve this through engaging in advocacy, capacity building and system change activities. https://iowaddcouncil.org/
Iowa Legal Aid provides free civil legal assistance and does not charge their clients for legal services. This website has information on guardianship and conservatorship. https://www.iowalegalaid.org/
The Iowa State Bar Association is an organization that facilitates professional growth and collegiality among Iowa attorneys. Its mission is to “help Iowa attorneys succeed.” The ISBA has several publications and legal forms on its website related to health care decision making (durable power of attorney for health care and living wills). https://www.iowabar.org/
From support groups and education to outreach and advocacy, NAMI IOWA works to provide the tools needed by friends, families, and persons with mental illness of all ages. https://www.nami.org
MindSpring is an independent local organization providing mental health education, support, and advocacy. Dedicated to improving the lives of individuals, families, and the community on mental illness. https://mindspringhealth.org
Established in Iowa Code (Chapter 231E), the Office of Public Guardian may act as an individual’s guardian; conservator; attorney-¬in-fact under a health care power of attorney document; agent under a financial power of attorney document; personal representative; or representative payee. The mission of the Office of Public Guardian is to preserve individual independence through a person-centered process by:
• Providing education;
• Providing assistance to public and private substitute decision makers;
• When necessary, assisting in substitute decision-making proceedings; and
• Providing substitute decision-making services in the least restrictive manner.
The Office of Public Guardian will only be appointed by the court as the substitute decision maker in a last resort. https://iowaaging.gov/elder-justice-adult-protecitve-servics/office-public-guardian
The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) is authorized by the federal Older Americans Act and the state Older Iowans Act. Operating as an independent entity within the Iowa Department on Aging, its mission is to protect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals residing in long-term care facilities by investigating complaints, seeking resolutions to problems, and providing advocacy with the goal of enhancing quality of life and care. https://iowaaging.gov/state-long-term-care-ombudsman
The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a free, objective, and confidential service offered through the state of Iowa to help people sort through confusing information about Medicare and health insurance. Our trained, certified volunteer counselors assist thousands of Iowans annually, helping them save millions of dollars. https://www.shiip.iowa.gov
The ABA Commission on Law and Aging leads the association in strengthening and securing the legal rights, dignity, autonomy, quality of life and quality of care of older adults. The Commission accomplishes its work through research, policy development, advocacy, education, training and through assistance to lawyers, bar associations and others working on aging issues. The ABA has several publications on its website related to health care decision making. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_aging/
We aim to make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole. We protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law. We arm people with the information, steps, and tools that they need to make smart financial decisions. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/
NGA’s mission is to advance the nationally recognized standard of excellence in guardianship. NGA believes that those appointed to the care of guardians, conservators, and fiduciaries deserve quality services and that every person should be provided respect, due process, rights, and dignity in guardianship. NGA represents more than 1000 guardians, conservators, and fiduciaries from across the United States who share this vision. They are professionals, volunteers, and family guardians. NGA seeks to protect adults under guardianship by ensuring that their guardians receive quality education and access to resources. The association is recognized as the leading national resource for professional development. NGA set the standard for quality in guardianship by establishing national practice standards for individuals in 2000 and for agencies in 2008. These standards have been, and continue to be, reviewed, and revised to ensure that the most current standards are promoted. https://www.guardianship.org
The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (NRC-SDM) builds on and extends the work of Quality Trust’s Jenny Hatch Justice Project by bringing together vast and varied partners to ensure that input is obtained from all relevant stakeholder groups including older adults, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), family members, advocates, professionals and providers. The NRC-SDM partners bring nationally recognized expertise and leadership on SDM, representing the interests of and receiving input from thousands of older adults and people with I/DD. They have applied SDM in groundbreaking legal cases, developed evidence-based outcome measures, successfully advocated for changes in law, policy and practice to increase self-determination and demonstrated SDM to be a valid, less-restrictive alternative to guardianship. http://www.supporteddecisionmaking.org/
The OIG is directly responsible for meeting the statutory mission of promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of SSA programs and operations and to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in such programs and operations. To accomplish this mission, we direct, conduct, and supervise a comprehensive program of audits, evaluations, and investigations relating to SSA’s programs and operations. We also search for and report systemic weaknesses in SSA programs and operations and make recommendations for needed improvements and corrective actions. https://oig.ssa.gov/
VA carries out four specific missions: https://www.va.gov
Veterans Health Care: VA’s Veterans Health Administration is the largest integrated health care network in the United States, with 1,255 health care facilities serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.
Veterans Benefits: Veterans can earn a range of benefits that help them transition back to civilian life in the country they fought to defend. Through the Veterans Benefits Administration, VA helps servicemembers transition out of military service, and assists with education, home loans, life insurance and much more. https://benefits.va.gov/FIDUCIARY/docs/VA_Fiduciary_Guide_Jun_2021.pdf
National Cemeteries: The job of the National Cemetery Administration is to make sure those who served this nation are never forgotten. NCA provides dignified burial services for Veterans and eligible family members by maintaining more than 150 cemeteries as national shrines and provides digital memorialization at the Veterans Legacy Memorial to commemorate their legacy, service, and sacrifice to our nation.
The Fourth Mission: VA’s “Fourth Mission” is to improve the Nation’s preparedness for response to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters by developing plans and taking actions to ensure continued service to veterans, as well as to support national, state, and local emergency management, public health, safety and homeland security efforts.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a U.S. government agency that administers social programs covering disability, retirement, and survivor’s benefits. If a beneficiary needs assistance in managing their benefits, the SSA will appoint a representative payee. https://ssa.gov
If you would like to hire an attorney on a limited scope basis to help you in preparing your initial care plan, initial financial plan, or annual report under the new requirements, please contact the Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA) Lawyer Referral Program. https://www.iowafindalawyer.com/ or 515-243-3179
IOWA LAW (IOWA CODE)
GUARDIANSHIP AND CONSERVATORSHIP – IOWA CODE 633; IOWA CODE 231E
Least Restrictive Alternatives
National Wingspan: American Bar Association, Commission on Law and Aging
Action Steps on Adult Guardianship Progress
Stetson Law Review on Guardianship
The Wingspan of Wingspread: What is Known and Not Know about the State of the Guardianship and Public Guardianship System Thirteen Years after the Wingspread National Guardianship Symposium
Wingspan-the Second National Guardianship Conference, Recommendations
ADVANCE DIRECTIVES – Legal documents stating a person’s wishes for medical treatments in case the individual is not able to make their own decisions. This includes a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Living Will.
AGENT – An individual designated in a power of attorney document to make decisions on behalf of the principal.
ATTORNEY-IN-FACT – an individual who is designed by a durable power of attorney for health care as an agent to make health care decisions on behalf of a principal and has consented to act in that capacity.
CONSERVATOR – A person appointed by the court to have custody and control of the property of a protected person under provisions of the probate code.
COURT VISITOR – Court visitor is a neutral person who is appointed by the court to make a thorough investigation, evaluation, and recommendation of all information relevant to a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding. The court visitor does not represent any party in the proceeding and makes a recommendation to the judge as to whether a guardianship and/or conservatorship is necessary.
DO-NOT-RESUSCITATE (DNR) – a medical directive that requests that doctors do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if a person’s heart or breathing stops. A do not resuscitate (DNR) order is placed on the individual’s medical chart.
DURABLE – A document becomes effective or remains effective upon the disability of the principal.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE – A document authorizing an agent to make health care decisions for the principal if the principal is unable, if the judgment of the attending physician, to make health care decisions.
FEDERAL FIDUCIARY – An individual or entity that has been appointed by VA to receive VA funds on behalf of a beneficiary for the use and benefit of the beneficiary and their dependents.
FIDUCIARY – is responsible of acting in confidence and trust and includes a personal representative, executor, administrator, guardian, conservator, trustee of any trust and a representative payee and federal fiduciary.
FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY – Written document in which one-person (the principal) gives another (the agent) the authority to act on the principal’s behalf in financial matters.
GUARDIAN – a person appointed by the court to have the custody of a protected person under the provisions of the probate code.
INCAPACITY – the inability of an individual to manage property or business affairs and/or make health care decisions.
LEAST RESTRICTIVE ALTERNATIVES – A least restrictive alternative is one that allows a person to make as many decisions and be as independent as possible. Some examples of alternatives are: representative payees for government benefits, joint bank accounts, power of attorney appointments for health care, or finances.
LIMITED GUARDIANSHIP – a guardianship that grants the guardian less than all powers available or otherwise restricts the powers of the guardian.
LIVING WILL – A document directing the declarant’s doctor to withhold or withdraw certain treatments (life sustaining procedures) that serve only to prolong the dying process.
OUT OF HOSPITAL DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDER – means a written order signed by a physician, executed in accordance with the requirements of section 144A.7A and issued consistent with this chapter, that directs the withholding or withdrawal of resuscitation when an adult patient in a terminal condition is outside the hospital.
PHYISICAN ORDERS FOR SCOPE OF TREATMENT – Physician orders for scope of treatment form or “IPOST form” means a document containing medical orders which may be relied upon across medical settings that consolidates and summarizes a patient’s preferences for life-sustaining treatments and interventions and acts as a complement to and does not supersede any valid advance directive.
POWER OF ATTORNEY – a writing that grants authority to an agent to act in the place of the principal, whether or not the term power of attorney is used.
PRINCIPAL – a person age 18 or older who has executed a durable power of attorney for health care.
PROTECTED PERSON – a person subject to guardianship or a person subject to conservatorship, or both.
REPRESENTATIVE PAYEE – An individual appointed by a government entity to receive funds on behalf of a beneficiary.
SUBSTITUTE DECISION MAKER – A guardian, conservator, representative payee, agent, or personal representative.