I’ve been involved in helping to prevent older adults from being financially exploited for more than 30 years. In fact, I co-wrote a book on the subject for the ABA in 2013 called Alzheimer’s and the Law. (I persuaded Scott Turow to write the forward.)
I’m the managing partner of a 10-lawyer firm that focuses on litigation in the world of older adults. I’ve drafted legislation on behalf of older adults at both the state and federal levels. And, I’ve been very active with the ABA’s Commission on Law and Aging.
The Commission is an extraordinary part of the ABA. It brings together lawyers, doctors, government officials and judges and allows that mix of people to craft policy affecting older adults.
Our results are tangible. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office for Older Adults partnered with the Commission to publish guides for lay people who have legal authority to handle an older person’s money. I was on the writing team for the state of Illinois.
It’s critical that we support older adults so they can make sound financial decisions, and we must make certain that those who act as their guardians or trustees are acting in their best interests.
The reality is that Alzheimer’s disease is an epidemic. It strikes people from all walks of life. They are stunningly vulnerable to being exploited. We need to take steps to protect the most vulnerable of our society.