November 01, 2018

NALC: Advocating for Aging with Dignity

National Aging and Law Conference Logo

National Aging and Law Conference Logo

The 2018 National Aging and Law Conference (NALC) offered an exciting mix of new and tried and true presenters who explored timely topics such as working with older clients during natural disasters, Medicaid work requirements, nursing home evictions, and more.

This year’s theme was Advocating for Aging with Dignity. The schedule reflected this with several program tracks that highlighted the role Law plays in protecting the dignity of older people.

Four plenaries focused on how to put theories into practice. The Elder Justice Coordinating Council in Action plenary produced by the National Center on Law and Elder Rights demonstrated how representatives from the different federal agencies coordinate Elder Justice initiatives. Practical Answers to Ethical Questions Arising in Elder Abuse Cases used a case-study approach to explore the issues and responsibilities involved in dealing with elder abuse. The Elderlaw Clinic (Canada) & Eldercaring Coordination (US): Similarities & Differences in Effectuating Participatory Justice plenary examined the evolving practice of using participatory justice concepts to resolve cases of elder abuse. Participatory justice solutions give the victim a voice and help restore their dignity. The Lightning-Round Plenary returned, featuring quick takes on critical issues.

NALC featured 30 workshops in six timeslots. There was an entire track of basic and advanced workshops produced by the National Center on Law and Elder Rights, aimed at providing a core curriculum for elder rights advocates.

This year’s NALC was “back-to-back” with the 42nd Annual National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care Conference. The two conferences were held the same week, at the same hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Many participants chose to stretch their stay to take part in both events. 

This year’s NALC Pre-conference was Skills You Can Use: Practical Training for Advocates and Attorneys. The preconference included sessions on legal issue spotting, intake and referrals, interviewing of older adults, and legal ethics when counseling individuals with diminished capacity.