Denver Bar Association
May 2007
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Ninth Annual Senior Law Day

by Michele M. Lawonn

Colorado’s population will increase to 5.6 million people by the year 2015. That’s a 20 percent increase in 10 years, according to the Colorado Governor’s White House Conference on Aging Report of October 2005. Perhaps more startling, during this same decade, the senior population — those 60 and older — will increase 49 percent to 970,000. Imagine the impact on the Denver-metro area, which has almost half of the entire state’s senior population.

Mary Hoagland, left, helps a participant at Senior Law Day in 2004.

Many of us, as adults and attorneys, are dealing with aging parents or aging-adult issues. Colorado ranks fifth-highest in the nation for the number of baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964. In four short years, the first baby boomers will turn 65, qualifying them for Medicare Insurance and full-benefit Social Security Retirement Income.

Recognizing Colorado’s changing demographics, the Civic and Community Affairs Committee of the Colorado Bar Association’s Elder Law and Trust and Estate Sections initiated the first Senior Law Day in 1999, co-sponsored by the University of Denver Elder Law Institute and Denver Regional Council of Governments. Over the years, thanks to the work of Jean Long of the University of Denver, and the committee’s efforts and numerous volunteer hours, Senior Law Day has grown and flourished. In 2006, more than 750 seniors preregistered to attend the day’s workshops. Additionally, there were 90 volunteers and dozens of sponsor tables.

Change is inevitable to all good things. Last year, Long retired from the University of Denver Elder Law Institute and now is associated with the Colorado Bar Association CLE. The committee is excited about this new partnership and about having CLE’s technical assistance and project management experience for this event.

Senior Law Day will be Saturday, June 2, at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Imagine the scene: excited seniors, eager to learn, up at the crack of dawn and arriving by 7 a.m. so they won’t miss a thing; a literal "sea" of red hats on the heads of the myriad of volunteers who register seniors, give them their goodie bags and materials, and guide them around the law school; and the school’s lobbies and hallways full of sponsor organization tables of senior-related products and services and throngs of interested seniors.

Nine different hour-long classes will be held concurrently over five time slots, commencing at 8 a.m. This year’s workshops include: Wills and Trusts/Estate Planning; Medicare and Medicaid; Financial Exploitation and Identity Theft; The Probate Process; Social Security; Beyond Google (Internet use); Housing Options; Living Wills and Powers of Attorney; and End-of-Life Decisions and Funeral Options. The participants will receive the newly revised Senior Law Handbook (available on the CBA website at http://www.cobar.org/slh), a box lunch and refreshments, parking, and informative and practical information from experienced experts and attorneys.

Left, a volunteer assists a Senior Law Day participant with a computer lesson.
Right, from left to right, Magistrate Michael Gallegos and Jennifer Gromely volunteer to Senior Law Day participants.

Senior Law Day impacts all of us dealing with aging adults. These generations tend to be fairly private and do not easily disclose financial and personal information. Whether it is your older parent, relative or friend, these workshops may facilitate their willingness to talk to you about their concerns and affairs. Often, despite the fact that you are an attorney, they may not seek your advice, especially if they think they have things under control. Adults are welcome to accompany seniors to these workshops and have the option of registering.

Professionally, your clients may include older adults who would benefit from these workshops, or your clients could be the adult children of seniors who need to become better-informed as they deal with their aging parents. They will appreciate hearing about this community service event and receiving the Senior Law Day brochure from you. Finally, maybe you’d just like to volunteer to join us in the fun of being an official "red hat" for this exciting senior community event. Call Carl Glatstein, chair, Civic and Community Affairs, at (303) 757-4342 or Jean Long at (303) 824-5388.

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is located at 2255 E. Evans Ave., near the intersection of South University Blvd. and East Evans Ave. Preregistration is requested, with a nominal fee of $10. The Senior Law Day brochure and registration forms are located at the Colorado Bar Association CLE website at http://www.cobar.org/cle, with registration by telephone, mail, facsimile or online.

To Volunteer: Call Carl Glatstein, chair, Civic and Community Affairs, at (303) 757-4342 or Jean Long at (303) 824-5388.

To Attend: Preregistration is requested, with a nominal fee of $10. The Senior Law Day brochure and registration forms are located at the Colorado Bar Association CLE website at http://www.cobar.org/cle, with registration by telephone, mail, fax or online. The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is located at 2255 E. Evans Ave., near the intersection of South University Blvd. and East Evans.


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