- Elder law (United States)
Elder law is a legal term coined to cover an area of legal practice that places an emphasis on those issues that affect the growing aging population.
The three major categories that make up elder law are:
Estate planningand administration, including tax questions;
Medicaid, disabilityand other long-term care issues; and
# Guardianship, conservatorship and commitment matters, including
Other issues found under the umbrella of elder law include such areas as
estate planning; wills; trusts; guardianships; protection against elder abuse, neglect, and fraud; end-of-life planning; all levels of disability and medical care; retirement planning; Social Security benefits; Medicare and Medicaid coverage; Medicaid planning (United States); consumer protection; nursing homes and in-home care; powers of attorney; physicians' or medical care directives, declarations and powers of attorney; landlord/tenant needs; real estate and mortgageassistance; various levels of advice, counseling and advocacy of rights; taxissues; and discrimination.
History of Elder Law
The history of the
Older Americans Act(OAA), originally signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnsonon July 14, 1965(the same year Medicare was created), claims credit for creating the Administration on Aging(AOA), a division within the Department of Health and Human Services. The OAA also authorized grants to States for community planning and services programs, funding for research, and demonstration and training projects in the field of aging.
1972Amendments to the OAA added the national nutrition program for the elderly. The OAA of 2000was amended on November 13, 2000to include the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which was intended to help hundreds of thousands of family members who are struggling to care for their older loved ones who are ill or who have disabilities. This program provides grant funding for combined services between state and local agencies for such things as counseling, support groups, respite and other community based services. These services are focused on the care of the frail and aging members of society. The program also provides services geared towards the family units of grandparents and other older relatives now in the stages of care-taking for related children eighteen years of age and under.
Careers in or associated with Elder Law
Careers that are developing around the area of Elder Law include
lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, "guardians ad litem" (GAL), various types of psychologists, care givers, financial planners, policy makers and legal advocates, benefit specialists, Better Business Bureau, Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Agency, political watch-dog groups, health care providers, researchers, funeral planners, grief counselors, case workers, abuse & fraud investigators, educators, product developers, transportation providers, entertainment and tour guides, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, insurance providers, or simply elder companions.
Essentially any career field can create a benefit to the aging of modern society.
Kenney F. Hegland & Robert B. Fleming, Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice . . . for Boomers (Carolina Academic Press 2007) ISBN 978-1594603228
* [http://www.naela.com National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys]
* [http://www.nelf.org National Elder Law Foundation]
* [http://www.aoa.gov/prof/aoaprog/caregiver/caregiver.asp National Family Caregiver Support Program]
* [http://www.aoa.gov/about/legbudg/oaa/legbudg_oaa.asp Older Americans Act]
* [http://www.aoa.gov/ Administration on Aging]
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