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April 01, 2013

Inside the Commission

COLA in the Media

ABA President Laurel Bellows released an audio news release in preparation for April 16th’s National Health Decisions Day: “ABA President to All Americans: Develop Advance Directives While You Still Can.” Find the recording and transcript online here:

“The Right Way to Craft a Living Will” an article from Bloomberg News with insight from Charlie Sabatino.

“A Privacy Law Often Misinterpreted” from the New York Times blog The New Old Age, with insight from Charlie Sabatino:

Recent Elder Abuse Prevention Focused Event

Institute of Medicine Workshop Elder Abuse and its Prevention (4/17-18) with #COLAstaff Lori Stiegel and Charlie Sabatino.

Relaunched Discussion List

Collaborate is a newly launched discussion list jointly sponsored by the ABA Commission on Law and Aging and the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Section on Elder Decision-Making and Conflict Resolution. To be added, please contact Trisha Bullock at [email protected].

Coming next issue: Update on WINGS

Which states were named to develop Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders (WINGS) to advance adult guardianship reform?
Stay tuned!

Annual NLRC User Feedback Poll open until May 24!

Each year we ask for your opinions and input on the National Legal Resource Center resources, programs, and services. This information is used to sharpen our focus on meeting the needs of our users. We are looking for your valuable feedback in order to serve you better!
The poll is located at

Rush University Online Curriculum on Capacity Assessment
Next Course Block Opens May 13

Rush University Medical Center and the ABA Commission on Law and Aging have cooperated to release an interactive educational curriculum on assessing the capacity of older adults, funded by The Retirement Research Foundation.

The course is aimed at physicians with a variety of backgrounds, but is suitable and valuable for all health care clinicians and students. For more information, contact Michelle Hochwert at 312-942-0417 or [email protected].

Moving Sale

Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers (softcover)
This handbook offers elder law attorneys, trusts and estates lawyers, family lawyers, and general practitioners a conceptual framework and a practical system for addressing problems of client capacity, in some cases with help from a clinician.
Published 2005, 72 pp.
Regular individual price: $25
Sale: One copy: $10; 66-copy quantity (case): $89

Judicial Determination of Capacity of Older Adults in Guardianship Proceedings: A Handbook for Judges (spiral-bound)
This book contains practical tools to equip a wide audience of judges to conduct any form of guardianship proceeding more effectively, improve communication with healthcare professionals, creatively use less-restrictive alternatives and limited guardianships, and accommodate disabilities of older adults in ways that will enhance capacity. Specifically, it outlines the six pillars of capacity assessment essential to a full and accurate assessment of capacity; and gives a practical explanation of the five key steps in judicial determination of capacity.
Published 2006, 42 pp.
Regular individual price: $25
Sale: One copy: $10; 66-copy quantity (case): $89

Consumer’s Toolkit (softcover)
Good advance planning for health care decisions is a continuing conversation. To help in this process, this tool kit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources. The tool kit does not create a formal advance directive; instead, it helps the consumer to do the much harder job of discovering, clarifying, and communicating what is important to them in the face of serious illness.
Published 2005, 28 pp.
Regular individual price: $5
Sale: 100-copy quantity: $25; 250-copy quantity: $50

Health and Financial Decisions: Legal Tools for Preserving Personal Autonomy (pamphlet)
Information on powers of attorney, trusts, health care advance directives, living wills and other planning tools. A wonderful waiting room resource, this pamphlet outlines the options available with easy-to-understand bullet points broken down into these categories: “What is it?,” “What is it good for?,” “Creating,” and “Things to think about.”  
Published 2005, 10 pp.
Regular individual price: $2
Sale: 100-copy quantity: $25; 250-copy quantity: $50

Elder Law Day 2013

Let us know how your organization’s or bar group’s programs for an Elder Law Day event in your community went. How did you celebrate Law Day (May 1) and Older American’s Month (May) in your community? We’d love to hear your success story and may include news of it in an upcoming issues of Bifocal. Email Andrea Amato at [email protected].

Elder Law Day Publication Alert

The Commission on Law and Aging is updating its outdated Elder Law Day Planning Guide and is hoping for your help.

  • Do you coordinate or participate in an annual Elder Law Day event in your community?
  • Do you have planning documents, fliers, or other collateral that you would be willing to share with us?

Please email Andrea Amato at [email protected] with your responses!