Legal Needs Assessment of Older Adults in Maine

By: The University of Maine Center on Aging. Published by: Legal Services for the Elderly (LSE) and Maine’s Office of Elder Services. Published in: September 2010

Link to report

This article assesses the legal needs of seniors in Maine. It finds that elder abuse is prevalent.

Highlights include:

  • “In Maine, help with financial issues was the second-most frequently provided type of service, compared to fourth nationally. More than half of those cases involved collections and 10% were for help with debt relief or bankruptcy. These types of cases have been increasing significantly at LSE over the past two to three years due to changes in the economy” (p. 3).
  • “About 25%-45% of older adults need help with estate planning, most commonly with creating or changing a will. About 9% of cases by LSE involved help in getting a referral for estate planning. n More than 15% of cases addressed by LSE involved housing issues, and 10% of those involved foreclosures. Housing issues may also be increasing for older adults compared to findings from research conducted just two to three years earlier” (p. 3).
  • “In Maine and nationally, elders are not seeking help when facing abuse or exploitation. Elder abuse was the primary issue in 2.2% of cases helped by LSE, which is consistent with data from other states, but like other states, Maine appears to be addressing only a fraction of the need. Less than 2.5% of older adults report abuse to authorities, but 6%-12% self-identify as being abused. About five times that number report indicators of abuse when surveyed” (p. 3)


Categories: Domestic Violence, Elderly, Family, Family, Legal Aid Attorneys, Legal Aid Practitioners, News Media, Policymakers and Funders, State-Specific, Victims of Crime

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