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Needs and Capacity Assessments

Needs Assessments identify the legal needs of older persons and often include information about their own understanding of legal rights and knowledge of the availability of legal services. Capacity Assessments identify what legal services are available to elders and the ability of programs to meet the legal needs of older persons. This section offers examples of both.

Assessing the Capacity of Georgia’s Legal Services Programs
Source: Center for Elder Rights Advocacy—Legal Hotlines.org
Content Type: PDF
An excellent example of an assessment of a legal service delivery system.

An Analysis of Current and Projected Rural Older Adult Legal Services Needs
Source: Maine Legal Services for the Elderly
Content Type: PDF
Results of Maine legal needs assessment.

Information on successful legal needs assessments
Source: The Resource for Great Programs
Content Type: Web Page
The page has links to information on why do a needs assessment and how to do a needs assessment.

Listing of senior legal needs studies
Source: The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
Content Type: Web page with links to attachments
Comprhenisve collection of senior legal needs studies

Legal Needs of Older Ohioans: A 2008 Study
Source: The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
Content Type: Report
This study was prepared by AARP Knowledge Management in collaboration with Pro Seniors Inc. Statewide mail survey of Ohioans 60+ and provides trending data about three respondent subgroups: African Americans, low income respondents, and those who are vulnerable population members.

A Survey of Older Adults in Michigan, 2008 Study
Source: The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
Content Type: Report
This study is by Michigan Office of Services to the Aging and Elder Law of Michigan Inc., asked older adults in Michigan about their understanding of legal rights, current issues in their lives, incapacity and decision making, and knowledge of services available. This was a mailed survey with 46 questions.

Assessment of Civil Legal Needs and Access to Justice In Nevada, 2008 Study (This resource is not specifically about serving elders.)
Source: The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
Content Type: Report
The Assessment is from the Supreme Court of Nevada Access to Justice Commission. The report includes three aspects: a telephone survey, needs assessment, and strategic planning as part of a statewide assessment of the civil legal needs of low and moderate income residents.

Assessing Legal Needs of Older Persons: A General Primer, 2005
Source: The Center for Social Gerontology
Content Type: Article
This TCSG article reviews the necessity of needs assessments, various assessment methods, and the design of such assessments.

A National Survey of Legal Assistance for the Elderly: Results, Recommendations & Concerns (November 1997)
Source: The Center for Social Gerontology
Content Type: Article
This TCSG survey provided a snapshot of the changes in the delivery of legal assistance to the most vulnerable elderly that have occurred in the years preceding 1997.

Planning for the Legal Needs of Utah’s Seniors, 2004
Source: The Center for Social Gerontology
Content Type:Report
This study assesses the legal needs of Utah’s seniors, their perceptions of and experiences with attorneys, their awareness of current legal services, and the barriers to obtaining legal assistance.

Elderly Legal Assistance Program Report on the Legal Needs of Seniors in Georgia, 2006
Source: The Center for Social Gerontology
Content Type: Report
A self completion survey by 1596 seniors in Georgia regarding their experiences with the legal system and their legal problems.

Legal Needs of Older Floridians: A 2006 Study
Source: The Center for Social Gerontology
Content Type: Report
AARP survey completed by 3750 seniors in Florida. Topics covered include: legal needs, consumer issues, hurricane damage, housing, and healthcare.

Legal Systems Capacity Assessments

List of Legal Systems Capacity Assessments
Source: Center for Elder Rights Advocacy—Legal Hotlines.org
Content Type: Website
Comprehensive listing of capacity assessments.

Kentucky Model Approaches to Legal Service Development, Legal Delivery Systems Assessment, 2008
Source: The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
Content Type: Report
This study by Kentucky’s Access to Justice Foundation examined the legal service delivery system to persons age 60 and over in Kentucky. The study collected and analyzed data from the Area Agencies on Aging, the regional legal service programs that deliver services funded under Title III-B of the Older Americans Act and the Legal Help Line for Older Kentuckians.