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Public Guardianship for the Elderly

The Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program provides conservatorship services to Tennesseans 60 years or older who are unable to manage their own affairs and who have no one willing and able to act on their behalf.


All persons aged 60 or older are eligible regardless of their financial resources.  Guardianship services are available to persons who have lost their capacity to make decisions.


How Does the Public Guardianship for the Elderly Program Help?

Through court appointment, the Public Guardian may legally make decisions regarding the care of a disabled older person, and/or the management of his or her property.  For this to occur, the court is petitioned by a family member, friend, or agency familiar with the disabled person and his/her circumstances.  While Public Guardians may not petition the court on behalf of people seeking services, they can provide information or guidance on proper procedure.

Once appointed, the Public Guardian is the sole decision-maker for all clients served.  Services may include decisions about housing, medical care, and financial management.   The court decides what the Public Guardian duties will be for each client.


Is There a Charge for Public Guardianship Services?

All persons aged 60 or older are eligible regardless of their financial resources.  Services are provided at no cost to eligible individuals meeting cost exemption guidelines; others are charged on a sliding scale set by the State, with fees subject to court approval.


Does the Public Guardianship Program Use Volunteers?

Services are provided by three staff and several volunteers.  A volunteer is assigned to each client to guarantee regular visits and personal contact with that client. 


The Public Guardianship Program Needs You!!

Most of our frail, elderly clients have very few visitors.  They are lonely and time passes slowly.  If they had friends and family, they probably would not need the Public Guardianship Program.

We need volunteers to visit our seniors, check on their welfare, and to let them know that they matter and are not forgotten.  Our volunteers are the eyes and ears – and the heart - of the program.

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty”.   -  Mother Teresa


Further Conversatorship Resources

General Information About Conservatorship:
Conservatorship Association of TN (CAT)
Video Trainings on Conversatorship
National Guardianship Association Standards of Practice for Conservatorship
National Guardianship Association Code of Ethics for Conservatorship
Conservatorship and Other Alternatives Handbook
Office of Conservatorship Management - Conservatorship Video Training

Mental Health and Disability
Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
The Arc Tennessee

Reporting Abusing and Protection of Adults
Tennessee Adult Protective Services

Legal Assistance
Legal Assistance for the Elderly
Legal Aid of East Tennessee
TN Free Legal Answers
Justice for All TN

Governmental Support
TennCare Medicaid
Tennessee Department of Human Services
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
To apply for CHOICES contact the AAAD at 1-866-836-6678
For help exploring Medicare plans contact SHIP at 844-887-7447
To Apply for Cover Rx (Prescription Drug Assistance)



Lynette Edwards
(865) 691-2551 ext 4218


State funds are made available through the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability and client fees.

Counties Served

Blount County, Claiborne County, Campbell County, Anderson County, Knox County, Morgan County, Cocke County, Grainger County, Hamblen County, Jefferson County, Loudon County, Monroe County, Roane County, Scott County, Sevier County, Union County