LAW! Did that scare you? For many Americans
just the mention of the word law or legal issues puts them on
edge. According to the latest research, only 20% of the legal
needs of urban and rural communities are addressed in this country.
With recent funding cuts and restrictions imposed on legal services,
this creates a profound crisis nationwide -- Alabama is no exception.
Simply not knowing your rights under the law can make ordinary
situations more complicated, even life changing.
That's why the Alabama Cooperative Extension
System's Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs has launched
a legal education program called LegalEASE. There is no need to
fear complicated legal jargon or legalese because our innovative
education program gives it to you straight. How? By empowering
Alabama citizens and communities with basic, easy-to-understand
legal education and resources.
The program's first module addresses the legal
needs and issues of Alabama's elderly communities and their families.
Did you know that one out of seven Americans or 35 million people
are over the age of 65? As baby boomers grow older, America's
elderly population will double by the year 2030. Alabama seniors,
for example, now constitute 13% of the general population, placing
them among the top 10 oldest populations in the United States.
"People are living longer and living more of their life in
better health than before," said Richard Suzman, an expert
at the National Institute on Aging a lead agency in collecting
data on the elderly. As Alabamians live longer, legal issues associated
with the aging will naturally increase, researchers report.
Elder Law, as the name implies, is defined
by the client who is served rather than by its technical or legal
distinctions. Elder law is not a separate body of laws, but rather
a number of areas relevant to elderly individuals. Elder Law can
be broken down into two broad areas: Asset/Financial Management
and Health-care Management that addresses issues from estate planning
to long-term care.
In addition, LegalEASE is partnering with state
and federal agencies in the United States Department of Justice,
the United States Department of Health and Human Services-Office
of Aging, and the Alabama Department of Senior Services to develop
and provide informational seminars, legal forums, public service
announcements, newsletters and brochures throughout Alabama's
Future modules will include Alabama Laws for
Youth, Renter's Rights, Basic Criminal Law and Procedure, Sexual
Harassment & The Work Place, and Consumer Rights Law.
So, let us help you put some ease into
law with LegalEase!