UT to offer elder law certificate program

March 20, 2009 | News
By Jon Strunk

As the baby boomer generation retires, caring for the elderly will become an important responsibility for professionals working in nursing, social work, law, and many other health and human service fields.

Starting in May, a new online graduate-level certificate program in elder law at The University of Toledo will enable professionals who interact regularly with the aged the ability to gain expertise on many emerging legal and ethical issues. This expertise will become increasingly important as more people reach their golden years.

“Sources indicate that by 2011, the elderly will make up 25 percent of the U.S. population,” said Kathleen Reed, a lawyer and chair of the UT Department of Undergraduate Legal Specialties. “This nation is going to need a surge of professionals who are educated to deal with the issues that confront our elderly population. Those with a specialty in elder law will be invaluable, whether they are nurses, social service workers or legal professionals.”

Among the topics on which the five-course certificate program will focus are:

• Contemporary legal and ethical issues regarding the elderly;

• Long-term and hospice care;

• Guardianship;

• Housing;

• Age discrimination;

• Elder abuse;

• Estate planning; and

• End-of-life decision making.

“The online nature of this program is essential because the professionals who would benefit most from this knowledge are those with the busiest schedules and least flexibility to commit to a class on campus at a given time each week,” Reed said. “By giving them 24/7 access to the courses, we’re meeting their needs in the same way this program will assist professionals in meeting the needs of the elderly for decades to come.”

Reed added the new program is collaborating with UT’s Center for Successful Aging in the College of Medicine to ensure a holistic look at the spectrum of issues the elderly face. The online graduate certificate program will be particularly attractive to busy professionals because it can be completed part time in two semesters.

Applications are due Wednesday, April 1, for summer admission. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA; submit an official transcript along with two letters of recommendation; and complete the online application available at http://www.utoledo.edu/dl/programs/gerontology/elder-law.html.

To learn more about online graduate certificate in elder law, contact Reed at 419.530.7746 or kathleen.reed@utoledo.edu.

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