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Elder Law Research Guide: Getting Started

This guide presents the sources of law most often encountered in problems or disputes pertaining to the elderly.

Elder Law - Introduction

The legal issues of elderly individuals frequently cross several substantive areas of law. This guide presents the primary sources of law most often encountered in problems or disputes pertaining to the elderly, and secondary sources that can assist with foundational information and analysis. Sometimes, federal law controls in matters affecting the elderly, and often, mixed questions of state and federal law exist. Because of the multi-disciplinary and cross-jurisdictional nature of elder law, secondary sources can be especially valuable to help define relevant issues and suggest legal strategies. 

Some health law sources related to elder law are included in this guide. Please consult the Loyola Law Library's Health Law Research Guide for more sources.

This research guide covers resources available to members of the Loyola community. Access to some of the electronic resources included in this guide is limited to users who have a valid Loyola ID and password; access to other resources is restricted to the law school community only.

Overview/Study Materials

Check the Books tab in this research guide for treatises and practitioner materials.

Federal Statutes

Many federal laws affect the rights and benefits of older persons -- the United States Tax Code, certain criminal laws, employment laws, health care and mental health legislation -- to name a few. Federal laws directly concerned with the elderly are listed here, with links to the official United States Code on, or to unofficial sources which may be more current or easier to use. 

Remember to update any statutory research, since amendments may have been enacted since the latest version of the source linked here.

Federal Regulations

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the permanent regulations published in the Federal Register by executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The CFR is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to federal regulation. CFR titles 10, 20, 24, 28, 29, 32, 38, 42, and 45 have regulations that may affect an elder law problem.  If you are unsure of what federal regulations you may need to consult, you can use a subject index to the CFR, or a citator for statutes or cases you may be examining.  Electronic databases and the finding aids index for the CFR in print have tables that cross-reference U.S. Code sections with applicable sections in the CFR.

Illinois Law

Chapters 20 and 320 of the Illinois Compiled Laws contain a variety of laws related specifically to the aged, including elder abuse, and property tax deferrals for the elderly.   Illinois laws with general applicability may have special requirements that affect elderly individuals. If you are trying to find sections in a statute that apply specifically to elder individuals, first try the subject index to the Illinois statutes, either in print or online.

Subject Guide

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Joe Mitzenmacher
Reference & Electronic Services Librarian
Philip H. Corboy Law Center
25 E. Pearson St.
Chicago, IL 60611