A new alternative to traditional full guardianship for older adults in Alaska is “a cutting-edge concept” and more person-centered, AARP Alaska says.
HB 336, which was signed by Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday, allows for the creation of a formal legal agreement among a vulnerable adult and his or her chosen “supporters” — who could be family, friends or others — for counsel and support of the adult in making important decisions.
The agreements, called supported decision-making agreements, also will be available to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“It’s innovative legislation that will end up saving the state money and will allow the freedom that seniors need, and folks with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to gauge how much support they need,” state Rep. Charisse Millett, the bill’s sponsor, told TV station KTUU.
The bill had passed the state House 39-1 on April 14 and the state Senate 19-0 on May 11.