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Is guardianship an option for vulnerable Tennessee adults?

On Behalf of | Jun 24, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Advanced age and a variety of different medical challenges can leave people somewhat vulnerable. Those who have physical health conditions or age-related medical challenges, like Alzheimer’s disease, may find it difficult to live independently after a certain point.

While many older adults prefer to stay out of nursing homes, they may struggle to manage their own living spaces and personal affairs. One potential alternative to a standard long-term care arrangement involves family members pursuing the legal authority to handle someone’s personal needs on their behalf.

Guardianship allows adults in better health to provide support for those who can’t meet their own needs anymore. Is guardianship a potential option for those struggling with challenging circumstances in Tennessee?

Tennessee does allow for outside support

People sometimes share inaccurate information about elder law statutes in Tennessee. They may claim that the state does not award adult guardianships. That is true, but only in a technical sense. What other states refer to as adult guardianship is a conservatorship under Tennessee law.

Those concerned about vulnerable older adults still potentially have the option of going to court to intervene for their protection. Conservatorships allow someone in a better state to handle the finances and medical needs of someone who is more vulnerable. In fact, conservators generally have an obligation to meet the basic needs of an older adult.

When is conservatorship necessary?

It can be very difficult to decide when to take legal action for the protection of a struggling family member. Many people fear giving up their independence and may resent any attempts to intervene in their affairs. However, their emotional reaction is typically less important than their physical safety and financial protection. If someone has failed to pay their bills, seek out appropriate medical care or manage their daily lives in a safe manner, it may be necessary to go to court in pursuit of the authority to protect that vulnerable person.

Families concerned about the possible need for a conservatorship may want to review their circumstances carefully with the help of someone familiar with Tennessee conservatorship cases. A conservatorship can potentially protect and improve someone’s life. Learning more about Tennessee state law and acting promptly when someone displays signs of significantly diminished capabilities could potentially allow for the protection of someone who is incapable of recognizing their own limitations.