May is National Elder Law Month!
National Elder Law Month in May, was designated by The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA ) as a month long recognition and celebration of Elder Law in the United States. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit organization that assists lawyers and bar organizations, with a mission to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. With practicing members, such as The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller; NAELA’s network expands across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The attorneys are experienced and well-trained in working with the legal issuers of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy declared May to be Senior Citizens Month. A month to honor those who are 65 and older. Since then, every President, including the current President of the United States, Joseph Biden has proclaimed May to be a month to show support for older Americans. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter changed the name to Older Americans Month and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys supports this annual proclamation by declaring the month of May to be National Elder Law Month.
A Proclamation on Older Americans Month 2022:
During Older Americans Month, we honor our Nation’s seniors and the tremendous impact they have made in helping build a more perfect Union. Older Americans contribute their time and wisdom to make our communities stronger, more informed, and better connected. They are our loved ones, friends, mentors, essential workers, volunteers, and neighbors. We celebrate their achievements and recommit to providing our elders with the support and services they need to thrive and age with dignity.
Older adults have always been a vital source of strength and resilience in America. During the pandemic, many seniors came out of retirement to serve their communities in health care and education roles, filling job vacancies in critical shortage areas. Moving forward, we must ensure that older Americans have the appropriate resources to maintain their independence and stay connected to their communities.
My Administration is committed to keeping older Americans safe and healthy as they age. The American Rescue Plan allocated $1.4 billion to providing older adults with services for nutrition, health promotion, disease prevention, caregiver support, and long-term care. It also provided additional Medicaid funding to support millions of older adults with disabilities and to help States improve the quality of caregiving jobs. My Administration is also dedicated to improving the safety and quality of care in nursing homes — ensuring that they have sufficient staff, that families have the necessary information to support their loved ones, and that poorly performing nursing homes are held accountable.
This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program — the first Federal program to support the well-being of older Americans through meal deliveries, nutrition services, educational programs, and counseling. We also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and recommit to building upon this important work.
During Older Americans Month, let us pay tribute to the seniors who raised and guided us throughout our lives, and let us renew our commitment to honoring their contributions by giving them the fullest care, support, and respect they deserve.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2022 as Older Americans Month. This month and beyond, I call upon all Americans to celebrate older adults for their contributions, support their independence, and recognize their unparalleled value to our Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
-JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
Given the growing aging population in the United States, elder law awareness is more important than ever.
With such a broad scope of issues, Elder Law typically specializes in:
- Estate planning, including a discussion surrounding the management of assets during incapacity and upon death
- Long-term care, including continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and assisted living facilities (ALFs)
- Special Needs planning (e.g., special/supplemental needs trusts)
- Conservatorship and guardianship
- Asset protection
- Elder abuse and exploitation
- Retirement planning – beneficiary designations, death benefits and spousal benefits
- Mental health law
- Estate and Trust Administration
- Financial Planning
Elder law attorneys are an extremely important resources for clients. They understand that clients’ needs may extend beyond basic legal services and stay informed about and connected to the local networks of professionals who serve the entire elder population.
For more information, visit NAELA.org
To locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/findlawyer
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
The National Law Review