sophie's story

JFS is the only agency in Western Massachusetts that provides elder guardianship services.

JFS steps in when an individual is without family, or their family is unable to assume the role of guardian. We ensure that the elder will thrive with dignity and respect.  Guardianship means we become their legal protector, responsible for their care … just like a parent is responsible for its child.

“Sophie was a third generation Springfield woman who lived alone and supported herself for 45 years. She was admitted to a psychiatric hospital because she was disoriented and dehydrated. She had not bathed in months and refused to speak. She had no one to advocate for her needs. The courts appointed JFS as her guardian. JFS located Sophie’s neighbors and learned that her mental health crisis occurred shortly after she lost her beloved sister.  Her life-long mental health issues, dementia, and then this loss precipitated her psychotic break.  JFS advocated for Sophie’s medical care and, when she was able to live outside a hospital, arranged for her placement in a group home.  For 10 years, Sophie enjoyed the company of others and   the simple pleasures of life. She loved watching the birds outside her window. At the end of her life, JFS guarded her dignity and arranged for a funeral. We were the only ones in attendance.”

For more information on guardianship services, call 413.737.2601 or