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Best Practice

Vol. 9, nos. 3 & 4

On Delivery of Legal Assistance to Older Persons

December 1998

A Message from Assistant Secretary for Aging Jeanette C. Takamura

As someone who has long valued the roles of legal rights advocates, I am pleased to introduce this issue of Best Practice Notes with its focus on revitalizing legal for the elderly and elder rights advocacy. I am proud that the Administration on Aging provided the support for the Symposium on Reinvigorating Legal Assistance for the Elderly, held in Ann Arbor, Michigan in December 1997 hosted by The Center for Social Gerontology. The participants in the Symposium produced the recommendations for action that are set forth in this issue of Best Practice Notes.

Since the Older Americans Act was enacted in 1965, and the first pilot legal programs for older persons were implemented in the 1960’s, it has been clear that the legal problems of our most vulnerable elders critically affect their most basic needs - income, housing, health care, autonomy and personal safety. It is also clear that collaboration at all levels - Federal, state and local - will continue to be important if we are to effectively serve these needs, which will only increase with the growing numbers of older persons anticipated in the next century.

I commend the participants in the Symposium and, in particular, The Center for Social Gerontology, for their commitment to protecting and enhancing the rights and quality of life for America’s most vulnerable elders. I encourage each and every one of you to continue to work together so that older persons of our nation may achieve the goal of healthy, active, longevous and secure life.

Jeanette C. Takamura

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The Center for Social Gerontology, Inc.
A National Support Center in Law and Aging
2307 Shelby Avenue  Ann Arbor, MI  48103
Tel: (734) 665-1126  Fax: (734) 665-2071