The demand for elder law has grown in recent years as the baby boomer generation reaches their 50s and 60s. Elder law covers a range of subjects including Social Security, age discrimination, Living Trusts and Wills, and healthcare. The primary purpose of elder law protections are to provide for the greater welfare, both socially and economically, for our aging population.
First officially brought about by President Lynden Johnson’s administration, the overarching idea of elder law was initiated by the Older Americans Act of 1965. In the same year, Medicare and Medicaid were established. Today there is even a specific branch of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department dedicated to helping older Americans, called the Administration on Aging.
The U.S. government has passed a string of laws meant to protect our aging population. Laws against age discrimination help protect older workers from being unfairly treated in the workplace. Social Security allows collective American taxpayers to save for retirement and disability. It also works to protect funds for surviving heirs.
Another program is the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which enables thousands of families across the nation to benefit from grant funding to help take care of elderly family members who may be in poor health.
Elder law also includes portions of estate planning, such as establishing Living Wills and Trusts. These laws have been put into place to ensure that aging individuals and those in poor health can put a plan into place that will allow their heirs to benefit from their estate.