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Elder Law

Elder law is a legal term that covers three general areas of legal practices affecting the aging population. These three major categories are:

  • Estate planning and administration, including tax questions
  • Medicaid, disability and other long-term care issues
  • Guardianship, conservatorship and commitment matters 1

However, there are many other issues that are covered by Elder law, such as, protection against elder abuse and fraud, retirement planning, Social Security benefits, consumer protection, nursing homes, landlord/tenant needs, mortgage assistance and discrimination, along with many more issues elderly people may encounter.

According to Elder Law Canada, Elder Law does not only focus on “disability and dying but on ensuring that laws, policies and practice relating to aging are appropriately tailored to the needs of this population while guarding against paternalism and ageism.”2

Elder Law’s emergence arose from demographic trends and concerns that the elderly population are at “greater risk of losing personal and financial autonomy because of physical and mental impairment and from the fact that older persons and their families are more mobile and more diverse than ever before”.2

Elder Law is unique in that it’s a multidisciplinary approach that connects the legal, social and health needs of older adults and their families.  



1. Elder Law (United States). (n.d.) Retrieved March 17, 2014 from Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia\

2. Ann Soden (n.d.) What is Elder Law? [Elder Law Canada]. Retrieved from

Categories within Elder Law

Theories of crime and justice

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, between 1992 and 1997, the average population of persons aged 65 or more was 31.3 million. These people were victims of 2.7 million property and violent crimes, either completed or attempted. Between 1993 and 2002, more than 9 in 10 crimes against the elderly were property crimes, and