Elder care is an important issue for both lawmakers and families because older generations of people commonly need a significant amount of assistance with matters of health, money and legal affairs. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to unscrupulous businesses and individuals who claim to want to help but instead try to take advantage of the elderly. In summary, elder care laws are concerned with how the members of the older population are treated when they can no longer take care of themselves efficiently.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act law was established to protect older retired people who maintain retirement benefit accounts. ERISA regulates the behavior and conduct of the financial companies and individuals who manage these benefit plans and accounts for the elderly. The managers must disclose a summary description of the plan, an annual report about the fund, and copies of all documents related to the program to each retired participant so that he is fully aware of what is going on with his money.
Social Security Act
The Social Security Act, established in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is a federal law that was enacted to assure that elderly and disabled people are taken care of in times of need. Before this law was enacted, many seniors descended into poverty after reaching retirement age despite decades of hard work. Social security provides a monthly benefit that helps cover the living and health expenses of people ages 62 and older. The monthly benefit is determined by the person's previous income from working---a percentage of each worker's payroll taxes goes toward this social security program.
Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act was enacted in 1965 to address elder care. It was originally established to help the elderly become more social and involved in the community with grants and special projects, but also encompasses other pressing issues affecting seniors, like abuse in nursing homes. The OAA established the National Center on Elder Abuse, a group that protects the elderly from abuse by others, including physical abuse while in another party's care and exploitation by crooked businesses and individuals. The OAA also formed the Administration on Aging, a group that is the Federal point of contact for matters concerning elder care.
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