SWTDD
102 E. College Street
Jackson, TN 38301
731.668.7112 Direct line
731.668.6421 ECD fax
731.668.6444 Aging & Disability Fax
swtdd@swtdd.org

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Public Guardianship For The Elderly

Mission:

The Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program is designed to aid persons 60 years of age and older who are unable to manage their own affairs and who have no family member, friend, bank or corporation willing and able to act on their behalf.

Eligibility:

Persons aged 60 and older are eligible for this service. There are no minimum income requirements.

Service Provisions:

Conservatorship: The District Public Conservator may assume legal authority and responsibility to make decisions for the care and management of the person and/or property of a disabled individual through appointment by the court. This court procedure is initiated by a petition from a family member, friend or agency familiar with the circumstances of the disabled person.

Durable Power of Attorney: The District Public Conservator may accept authorization to carry out specific actions for financial/property management or health care decision-making on behalf of another person at that person’s request through a Durable Power of Attorney. The powers granted would be tailored to the particular needs of the requesting individual.

Referral:

Any agency or individual concerned about a person who may be in need of the services this program provides may refer that person to the District Public Conservator. Although District Public Conservators may not petition the court on behalf of persons seeking service, they can provide information and guidance on proper procedure. Contact the District Public Conservator serving the county of residence of the person needing assistance.

Cost:

There is no charge for services provided by the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program if the client meets the cost exemption guidelines set by the Tennessee Commission on Aging & Disability. When a fee is appropriate, it is based upon a sliding schedule established by the Commission. The fees for conservatorship services must be approved and set by the court. Donations and memorial gifts to the program are acceptable. All monies received remain in the local district and are used to increase service to its citizens through the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program.

Before Considering the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program:

Service through a conservatorship appointment involves taking away the right of self-determination. It is recommended that all available alternatives be explored thoroughly before choosing this course of action. Consultation with doctors, attorneys and social workers may help in this decision.

All other possibilities for needed assistance should be considered, including supportive services provided through other agencies.

When there is an obvious need for conservatorship service, encourage family members, friends or an appropriate institution to accept this responsibility.

When the services of the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program are deemed appropriate by the District Public Conservator, an application form will be required prior to acceptance into the program. This form should be completed by the person requesting this service.

For further information on Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program contact Susan Unger, District Public Conservator, at (731) 668-6405.