Guardianship - Older Adults - Our Services - Jewish Family & Children's Service
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Provides services to older adults no longer legally competent to make decisions regarding their health and welfare.

GuardianshipOperating out of JF&CS Waltham and Central MA locations, we serve as legal guardian, appointed by the Probate Court, for older individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, chronic mental illness, brain injury, and developmental disability. Our services include both private and state or grant funded guardianship and conservatorship. In some cases we work in partnership with the conservators who manage a client’s assets while we serve as guardian, managing the medical and personal care of the client.

What sets us apart?

JF&CS has served as legal guardian for more than 30 years. Doctors, nurses, and staff at day programs, assisted livings, and nursing homes tell us that we stand out as guardians because of our commitment to the individuals we protect, our responsiveness, and our professionalism. Some of the features that distinguish us from other guardians are:

  • Customized case management: Each guardianship client is assigned to a social worker who gets to know the client and manages every aspect of the case. Our clients live in a variety of settings, depending on their individual needs.
  • Regular monthly visits to the elder, or more frequently if appropriate.
  • Responsiveness and coverage: 24 hour on-call availability, and team coverage for when the regular case manager is away. We are big enough to provide complete coverage yet small enough that each of us is familiar with all of the cases.
  • Cultural sensitivity: We are a non-sectarian nonprofit agency serving a diverse population and are sensitive to all religious and cultural practices.

A Comprehensive Approach

Our case management team of licensed clinical social workers has expertise in guardianship and conservatorship as well as geriatric assessment, care management, advocacy, placement, crisis intervention, and entitlements. The program consults regularly with an experienced elder law attorney. We pay bills and manage assets and property with the aid of the JF&CS Fiscal Department.

Guardianship may not be the only service an individual requires. We work in conjunction with other JF&CS Senior Services, such as the Long Term Care Ombudsman, Geriatric Care Managers from Your Elder Experts, Geriatric Mental Health, and Jewish Healing Connections. Our goal is to provide services for the whole person - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Responsibility, Safety, and Dignity

A guardian is legally responsible for all decisions regarding the health and welfare of the protected person, and for the prudent use and protection of theirs assets. Most frequently, this involves:

  • Ensuring a safe and suitable environment
  • Determining the most appropriate living situation
  • Medical decision making, consent to medical treatment, and end-of-life decisions
  • Supervision of personal care
  • Arranging for services and programs, as appropriate
  • Advocacy
  • Management of assets and property
  • Payment of bills

Decision Making Guided by Principle

As court appointed guardian, JF&CS makes decisions on behalf of the elder guided by substituted judgment. This means that we make decisions based on what the elder’s decisions would be if he/she had no impairment. We value the input of involved family or significant others. The JF&CS Guardianship program follows all standards set forth by the National Guardianship Association and the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.


Referrals come to us from many sources and we welcome inquiries. Private pay referrals may be made by family members unable to serve as guardian themselves, by attorneys, hospitals, and area elder service agencies.

The JF&CS Guardianship program is affiliated with the National Guardianship Association, Massachusetts Guardianship Association, and National Association of Social Workers. We participated in the Council on Accreditation Adult Guardianship Standards Panel.

For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.

Contact Us

781-647-JFCS (5327)
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1430 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451

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