Differences in generation change the way we look at and adapt to technology. It has both positive and negative impacts on elders, their families, caregivers, and even their living environments. There are many types of technology that can be used by elders to improve independence and quality of life. However, not all elders are capable of learning new technology as they age due to changes in vision, disease, physical limitations, and mental abilities.
As the demand for long term care increases, more tools and products attuned to older adult capabilities will have the ability to not only increase independence, but lighten the burden elders put on their caregivers.
Technology changes further affect elder law and the future elder law attorney. Currently, lawyers use cloud based services, online seminars, e-doc access, video conferencing, and social media. Further, some law firms have started using video conferencing as well as webinars.
There are many issues with technology and elder law including expenses, elders being able to use technology, ethical considerations, capacity, privacy, and confidentiality. Digital assets are a new and important consideration for estate planning documents.
Elder and Special Needs Law attorneys will have to adapt to meet the challenges faced by upcoming generations and technology. Lawyers will need to find ways to differentiate themselves by providing other services. Each of these issues pose problems with the existing ABA Model Rules. The future of technology, elders, and elder law is uncertain, but one thing we can be certain of is change.