College of DuPage

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Paralegal Studies 2280


As our population ages, legal issues related to this age group are increasing.  A new legal specialty known as “Elder Law” has emerged in recognition of this demographic trend. Older people face special risks and challenges, including increased medical needs, possible discriminatory treatment in housing and employment, and, quite often, economic insecurity due to volatility in financial markets. They have special concerns regarding estate planning due to financial and health issues. Their changing needs impact the lives of their adult children, as decisions are faced regarding whether they should move in with family members, move into an assisted living facility, or be provided with more help so they can remain in their homes.

couple out for a walk and bicycle rideThese are just some of the issues that are addressed in the Elder Law class.

In addition, older people are directly impacted by government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Veteran’s benefits. This class will help the future legal professional understand these programs. The laws of guardianship and conservatorship will also be examined, because these issues may arise when dealing with the elderly. You will learn how to assist the older client in preparing important documents to carry out their wishes regarding who should manage their financial affairs and who should make decisions about medical treatment if they become incapacitated.

Because advanced age can lead to both physical and mental decline, the elderly are more vulnerable to people who may exploit them financially or abuse or neglect them physically, mentally, or emotionally. The class will discuss how to recognize the signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and how to obtain protection for your firm’s clients, as well as how to report improper actions to the proper authorities so that others are not harmed.

man riding stationary bicycle In addition to the legal issues outlined above, you will discuss ethical issues relating to these matters.

As an elective in the paralegal studies program, this course will prepare you to deal with the legal, moral, and ethical issues facing our elderly citizens. You will learn the laws in the various practice areas that impact the elderly, and will gain the knowledge and skills to be an active and engaged legal professional in a new and growing legal specialty.

Elder Law is a three hour course.

If you have questions about the Paralegal program College of DuPage visit the Paralegal website at

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