Elder law is a relatively new phrase designed to encompass all of the legal issues which surround senior citizens. A large part of this involves estate-planning, but there are many peripheral issues. These would include Social Security, guardianships and conservatorships and Medicare and Medicaid issues, just to name a few. Asset protection and gifting are other areas that often need the guidance of a good estate-planning or elder-law attorney. The person you rely on for advice should be able to tell you the difference between Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing. As a senior citizen myself, I have either experienced those issues or have worked through those issues with family members.