Tina Paone, Ph.D., professor of Educational Counseling, presented testimony at the hearing, “Guardianship and Alternatives: Protection and Empowerment,” convened by the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging in Washington, D.C., on March 30. Paone, who was chosen to represent victims nationwide, advocated for more robust protections and empowerment for victims of flawed guardianship actions.
After sharing a personal story of her mother and the challenges she faced under the current guardianship system—such as the court-appointed guardian’s failure to pay bills and the mounting late fees that followed—Paone called on the Senators to create meaningful and lasting reform.
“From my perspective, we need federal standards that regulate the appointment and oversight of judges, court-appointed attorneys, and court-appointed guardians,” Paone said in her testimony. “Additionally, families like mine must have a recourse to prevent devastating medical and financial exploitation.”