Public Guardianship

Sometimes people turn to a family member, friend, bank, or company when they need help. But what happens when there’s no one to ask? What happens when none of these are there to help?

Public guardians, also known as conservators, help people over 60 who can no longer help themselves. The person needing help may be unable to make decisions about money or medical care. They often need help with basic needs.

Conservators do their best to help older people meet their needs, yet remain as independent and comfortable as possible. Conservators are protectors for seniors who find themselves alone.

This service is available in all 95 Tennessee counties. To find a conservator, contact your local Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD). Some people may pay a fee based on their income or resources. If a person is low-income, they do not pay for this service. If a person qualifies for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI), they do not pay. The public guardian, or conservator, cannot file the initial petition for conservatorship.

Guidelines for the program are in the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability's (TCAD) Policies and Procedures for Programs on Aging. This program is supervised by several groups: TCAD, the AAADs, and local courts. Each year, the state coordinator also monitors the program.