Elderly people are too often treated as though they are inferior to younger adults, in this society. This is tragic, as the wisdom
and experience an elderly person has gained more than makes up for the loss of physical vigor that they typically experience with the passage of time. Laws being what they are, this disrespect of the elderly has never been directly transcribed into law. Nonetheless, whether it be on the books or not, the law must be the same for the geriatric community as they are for the rest of us. Granted, an elderly person should not have carte blanche to commit crimes. But just as they are equally bound by the laws of our land, the elderly must also be protected by them.
Just as a younger person has the right not to be intimidated or harassed, so too does an elderly individual. Just as a younger person may not be abused, neither may an older one. While this may seem basic to a fairly enlightened individual, these basic human rights and dignities are so often abused that it is absurd. Far too often, those who have been charged with (or who have proactively taken on) the responsibility of taking care of an elderly person will either abuse the person, or essentially neglect any special care needs that they may have. Simply because someone has become inconvenient to care for, and would seem to be contributing nothing to their area is no reason to neglect them. And it is certainly no reason to treat them with any less respect than what one would show a younger person.
This is why we have so many resources dedicated to elder law. Elder law is the name given to the branch of legal counsel that deals with how the law is intended to protect the rights of the aged. At its heart, though, elder law is nothing more than showing respect to the people in our world who are the most deserving of it. After all, they are the ones who created and raised all of us. They need respect, too.