Protecting Our Senior Citizens: Elder Law Basics for Legal Aid Attorneys

Ken Liu

Sadly, the elderly are being hit from multiple fronts during this coronavirus pandemic. Not only are they the most susceptible to contracting the virus, the social isolation leads to greater loneliness, makes it harder for them to get needed help, and makes them more susceptible to physical abuse and financial manipulation. 

In previous generations, care for seniors was not a major social problem because families were expected to care for their own parents and grandparents.  But as our families have become more fragmented and our culture more individualistic, "the elderly" are now a demographic in dire need of societal help. Seniors now are frequently taken advantage by their own family members and other trusted caretakers. 

Currently, over 25 million Americans aged 60+ are economically insecure - living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. And by 2030, senior citizens (65 and older) are expected to comprise 21 percent of the population, up from 15 percent today. 

Legal aid for seniors is now needed more than ever to combat various forms of abuse, scams, and injustices, as well as to assist with a host of general legal needs such as wills, powers of attorney, medical directives, and government benefits. Are we up to the task? 

For more information on how lawyers can help senior citizens with legal needs, see our webinar on Protecting Our Senior Citizens: Elder Law Basics for Legal Aid Attorneys.