Issue 6 (August 2013)

Getting Our Priorities Straight

Cover Article

Getting Our Priorities Straight

Using priority-setting and data analysis to understand and meet the high-impact needs of older Americans.

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This list may be of interest to you both personally, as you consider your plans for the future, and professionally, as you reflect on the role that lawyers play in the planning for others. And, if I’ve learned anything in my career, it’s that the only constant is change. These lessons will continue to evolve with changing medical science, health systems, and social mores.

Unlike an appointment of a guardian, the statutory legal procedure for restoration is often unclear, ambiguous, and inconsistent. This paper examines state statutory provisions concerning restoration of rights in four areas: (1) general procedure for restoration; (2) the presence or lack of evidentiary standard provided for in the statute; (3) the procedural barriers and safeguards in restoration proceedings; and (4) the role of the guardian and of the court upon termination.

This policy brief focuses on the critical role that telephonic signatures, or “spoken signatures,” can play in the success of a state’s telephone application process. States must prioritize the adoption of telephonic signatures now to ensure that new state IT systems will be able to develop this technology for use by exchange call centers, navigators, and assisters before open enrollment begins in October 2013.

What if we could build something akin to the Peace Corps, a national program that could simultaneously address a spectrum of issues, such as workforce development, economic security, intergenerational respect, skill-building, and national service?

To acquire a baseline understanding of how POLST ("Physician’s Order for Life Sustaining Treatment") forms are distributed, this brief survey examined state policies and procedures regarding POLST form accessibility in the 16 states where the POLST program is either mature or endorsed as of July 2013.

The Administration on Aging has announced funding of 11 new Model Approaches to Statewide Legal Assistance Systems projects to “help states develop and implement cost-effective, replicable approaches for integrating low cost service mechanisms into the broader tapestry of state legal service delivery networks.”

The 3rd World Congress on Adult Guardianship will be convened on May 28–30, 2014, in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area.

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About Bifocal

Bifocal, the Commission on Law and Aging's bi-monthly journal, provides timely, valuable legal resources pertaining to older persons, generated through the joint efforts of public and private bar groups and the aging network.

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The Commission distributes Bifocal for free six times a year to elder bar section and committee members, legal services providers, elder law and other private practitioners, judges, court staff, elder advocates, policymakers, law schools, elder law clinics, law libraries, and other professionals in the law and aging network.

    Subscribe to Bifocal by e-mailing your name and professional affiliation to Trisha Bullock. Include the word "SUBSCRIBE" in the subject heading.

Contributing

Bifocal invites the submission of news about your elder bar section’s activities, as well as brief articles of interest to elder law and other professionals in the aging advocacy network.

    Share news about your entity’s initiatives towards the delivery of direct legal assistance to older persons in your particular area; pro bono and reduced fee programs; community legal education programs; multi-disciplinary partnerships; and new resources that are helpful to professionals and consumers.

    Also welcome are substantive law articles on legal issues of interest to state area agencies on aging, bar association entities, private attorneys, legal services projects, law schools, and others in the law and aging network.

    Bifocal is published bi-monthly. E-mail Andrea Amato for manuscript guidelines and deadline information for upcoming issues.

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