Elder law: What you need to know

Elder law focuses on the legal rights of senior or disabled persons. The elderly are at risk of abuse by their family members or caretakers. Therefore, elder law protects them from any form of exploitation or harm, including financial, physical, verbal, or emotional.  

Who is covered under elder law?

Elder law applies to everyone, regardless of your estate size, marital status, or physical and mental health. Understanding your rights now will allow you to make decisions about your future, so your wishes are executed as you see fit. Staying informed and knowing what you want in your senior years means that there will be fewer questions among your family and loved ones once the time comes to make difficult decisions. 

For example, in the case of future illness, you may wish to have an advance medical directive that outlines the types of decisions you prefer regarding your care. You can also prepare a power of attorney agreement that gives an individual the ability to make legal decisions on your behalf, including medical care. 

Laws, acts, and regulations impacting the elderly can vary depending on where someone lives and, therefore, these laws require state-specific knowledge. An elder law attorney working alongside psychologists, healthcare providers, and social workers can help you navigate these legal matters. 

What are elderly people’s rights?

As we grow older, we become dependent on other people, and our participation in the community decreases. According to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, we are all equal in our rights and dignity, despite our age. Any form of abuse against these rights is illegal. Some common rights include property and inheritance, the right to health, work, social security, freedom from discrimination, and freedom from violence.

How does elder law protect seniors?

Some common problems that elder law addresses include: 

  • Financial exploitation: Many older adults become victims of fraud. Deceitful actions occur when someone takes advantage of an elderly person financially.
  • Medical neglect: Older people often fail to get necessary medical treatment. Abandonment and neglect of an elderly person can lead to serious health complications.
  • Abuse: Older adults can suffer physical or emotional abuse. Abuse can happen in various ways, including verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and physical violence. 

Elder law protects the elderly from exploitation, abuse, and neglect. It provides elders with legal assistance so that they can remain independent. It also helps one plan ahead for future medical expenses and manages families dealing with the death of an elderly loved one. Elder law ensures that the elderly receive proper care towards the end of life. It protects the elderly from being abused or neglected. 

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