Demand for elder law rises

Elder law as a specialty is a relatively new development, said Tim Nay, a Portland lawyer and founding president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. The term didn’t exist until about 1985, he said. “There were no books or seminars; law schools didn’t teach elder law,” he said. “It just wasn’t on anybody’s radar.” Three factors resulted in a demand for lawyers specializing in elder law, he said. First, the oldest baby boomers grew older. Second, “Baby boomers are living longer than our parents did, living into that state of life when Alzheimer’s (disease) and dementia change the ability to be independent,” he said Thursday. “It’s huge.” Finally, public policy on health care, particularly long-term health insurance and Medicare, failed to take the “age wave” into account, Nay said.

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