On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved Senate Bill (SB) 139 authored by Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson). SB 139 would combine the volunteer advocates for seniors program and the volunteer advocates for incapacitated adults program into a more efficient, singular program.

“The population of adults aged 65 and older is continuously growing, causing a greater need for adult guardianship services and access to them,” Sen. Lanane said. “This bill would enhance the professionalism of these services and make them more effective.

“I am happy that the members of the House agree with me on the importance of having professional and effective adult guardianship programs in Indiana. It is necessary to adapt with the growing population of the adults in need of such services and to ensure they are protected.”

The newly-created program, Volunteer Advocates for Seniors or Incapacitated Adults (VASIA), would also require volunteers of the court to partake in professional training in order to serve as court-appointed guardians.

SB 139 was sponsored by House Representatives Tony Cook, Pat Bauer and Carey Hamilton. The bill now moves to the governor’s desk to await his signature.