By the year 2030, the US will experience a turning point in its age demographics. The US Census reports that all baby boomers will have gone past the age of 65.
Healthcare, assisted living, and other senior citizen needs will increase in demand. Retirees aren’t the only individuals that have special needs. Pew Research reports 14 million adults with physical or mental conditions have trouble doing errands on their own.
Thankfully organizations like the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) provide the best care for these individuals. NAELA’s Senior Director of Communications and Publications, Nancy Sween, discusses their work in detail.
The Need for NAELA
NAELA began in 1987 in support of attorneys that take care of the complex legal needs of people as they age and people with disabilities. The organization’s attorneys deal with matters that go beyond estate planning for senior citizens. As Nancy elaborates:
“What makes NAELA member attorneys stand out from other estate planning attorneys is that they understand the unique needs of seniors and people with disabilities. ”NAELA was founded in 1987 to support attorneys in meeting the complex legal needs of people as they age and people with disabilities. Click To Tweet
Elder and special needs law has a dynamic and evolving nature. The practice requires attorneys to represent their clients “holistically,” according to Nancy. This means “adapting and applying information and insight from a wide range of legal and social disciplines.”
This holistic approach addresses concerns such as general estate planning. Clients are also counseled about planning for incapacity with decision-making documents. They are also assisted in planning for long-term care needs. Nancy elaborates on the specific care they seek for clients:
The practice requires attorneys to represent their clients “holistically,” according to Nancy Sween of NAELA. Click To Tweet
“Locating the appropriate type of care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, and working to ensure the client’s right to quality care are all part of the elder and special needs practice.”
Addressing a Client’s Life Specific Needs
Traditional estate planning entails the promotion of family harmony and minimizing conflicts. The practice also provides legal representation for “life needs” due to the client’s physical or mental health condition.
Some examples of life needs are high-quality health care, long-term care services, and support in the least restrictive and safest housing setting. They also help ensure that clients have access to resources such as insurance solutions for health and long-term care and public benefits.
Elder and special needs law attorneys also advocate for their client in terms of:
- Independence and autonomy
- Their access to public benefits
- Promote their freedom from discrimination
NAELA supports its elder and special needs lawyers with webinars, articles, and live meetings. Members also have access to a wealth of information on the website, which includes recorded presentations and past issues of their magazine, NAELA News and the NAELA Journal.
Reaching Out Across the Miles
The NAELA Summit is held annually for everyone to gather and discuss the practice.
PrintPlace produced the direct mail brochures that promoted the meetings for the last two years.
Nancy explained how this marketing strategy combined the personalization of print with the ease of online registration:
“The direct mail brochures are a signal to members to register and we see a jump in online registration once the brochure hits the mail.”
Apart from ensuring the event’s registration, the brochures were produced in a timely manner:
PrintPlace meets my need for a variety of turnaround times, affordable high-quality product, delivered on time” -- Nancy Sween of NAELA. Click To Tweet
“PrintPlace meets my need for a variety of turnaround times, affordable high-quality product, delivered on time. Whenever there is a problem with a job I’ve posted, the friendly people at PrintPlace help me resolve any issues in a timely manner.”
For more information on their organization, consumers can find information about elder and special needs law on their website, www.NAELA.org. In addition, there is a NAELA member directory consumers can access to help them find an attorney in their area. You can also check out their Facebook page for updates.
Angela’s first love is food but her second love will always be the written word. She loves discovering new ways to tell stories and reads everything from YA to memoirs. Her time away from words is spent either with her three dogs or catching up on her favorite Netflix shows.