An Oklahoma elder law attorney can provide advocacy and legal representation to seniors who need help with the issues that affect them as they get older. Attorneys help seniors create legacy plans, and can design incapacity plans so they are prepared in case of illness or injury. Elder law attorneys also help seniors make plans to pay for nursing home care and may take action if nursing home staff is abusive or neglectful. The services provided by experienced attorneys are invaluable to seniors who face many legal and financial issues as they get older.
As seniors go through the aging process, they also face many additional challenges. Having a legal advocate is important, but they may also need community advocates to help with some of their personal and social issues that don’t require professional legal advice. Fortunately, there are people who are committed to offering the aid that older Oklahomans need. News OK, for example, just reported on some Oklahoma residents who have made it their mission to advocate for seniors.
Oklahoma Residents Advocate for Local Seniors
According to News OK, there are many senior advocates in Oklahoma who are concerned about how society treats older people and who are fighting to improve quality of life for seniors. Some of the advocates are seniors themselves, including an 81-year-old woman and a 75-year-old engineer who teaches computer skills for seniors.
The 81-year-old woman, who suffered from polio as a child but still lives independently today, is a member of the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature. This is a group that proposes bills to lawmakers and helps lobby for the bills to become law.
One example of a successful bill the Silver Haired Legislature helped get passed was a bill facilitating Silver Alerts to help find lost seniors. For 10 years, the group also spearheaded efforts to create a program for court appointed advocates to be provided to vulnerable adult seniors, but eventually plans for the program had to be scrapped as a result of lack of funding.
The 75-year-old former engineer profiled by News OK used to be president of the Oklahoma Council on Aging. He taught for the Ponca City Retired Senior Volunteer Program, providing instructions to seniors on both beginning and intermediate computer skills so seniors could learn to use computers to communicate with family members, and help them maintain their financial and health records online.
He and his wife have conducted studies to justify expansions of local senior centers, and he is also the coordinator of a Senior EXPO which assists seniors with Medicare Part D signups. For nine years running, more than 400 seniors each year got help through the program. He served as the president of the Oklahoma Council on Aging in 2013 and 2014 and, after leaving, became a member of the Citizen’s Council on Aging which reports to the legislature and to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
The advocacy work done by these seniors, and others like them, is essential as funds are cut for many Oklahoma senior programs throughout the state. Senior programs need funding to provide the highest quality of life for vulnerable populations. Many senior advocates also believe tougher laws need to be put into place to protect seniors, including stricter oversight of nursing homes which may not be adequately meeting the needs of older Oklahomans.
Since far too many people overlook the issues that matter to seniors, it is essential that advocates continue to fight to improve the lives of older people throughout the state of Oklahoma. Within the coming years, fully ¼ of Oklahoma residents will be 60 or older, so the need for advocates and effective senior programs is only going to grow stronger than ever.
Getting Help from An Oklahoma Elder Law Attorney
Community advocates serve a very important role, but sometimes there is simply no substitute for legal advice. If you want to make plans to secure your future as a senior and to protect your family, Parman & Easterday can help.
To learn about some of the services an Oklahoma elder law attorney can offer, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or contact us online to talk with an experienced attorney who can offer personalized advice and assist with the elder law issues that matter most to you. Call now to get a knowledgeable attorney on your side and working for you.