What is Elder Law and why is it even a thing? Why would the law be different for elderly people in Ireland?
I’m a two handed lawyer on this one. The same law applies to older people as to everybody else and they have the same legal needs and rights as everybody else. They buy, sell and let property, they make wills, they have accidents, they have family issues, they endure bereavement and inherit property, they have tax problems, they provide for dementia by creating Enduring Powers of Attorney and sometimes they have workplace problems. These things happen to us all, so why such a thing as Elder Law in Ireland?
Old Age and the Law in Ireland
Because old age often leaves us vulnerable. One in three of us will develop dementia after the age of 65 and older people are more at risk of physical ailments and diseases. We all know many exceptions, but I am talking about probabilities and not possibilities. And worst of all, failing mental and physical powers leave older people open to abuse.
Elder Abuse in Ireland
In 2010, an elder abuse prevalence study in Ireland suggested that 2.2 per cent of people over the age of 65 had suffered some form of elder abuse in the preceding 12 months. Most common was financial abuse. Between 2010 and 2014 one-fifth of the elder abuse cases reported to the HSE were financial. Forty-five per cent of the abusers were adult children and in thirty per cent of cases they lived with the victim.
The Solicitor’s Role
A solicitor needs to be aware of the vulnerabilities of older people and I will never stop learning. See here for some of the Certificates I have earned. If you are concerned about elder abuse or want to put a will or Enduring Power of Attorney in place, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, click the call button, phone 014545138 or use the Contact Form.