Protection of older people in Wales: A guide to the law


Protection of older people in Wales: A guide to the law

Protection of older people in Wales: A guide to the law

"Since I took on the role of Older People’s Commissioner for Wales in April 2008, I have spoken with many older people and with voluntary and statutory bodies across Wales. I have been made aware of the deep concerns held by many in relation to the abuse of older people. 

"I believe that the Older People’s Commissioner has a particular role in advocating for the most vulnerable older people in our society. There are older people whose voices are seldom heard and these are often the people who need most protection. One of the functions of the Older People’s Commissioner is to keep under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law affecting the interests of older people in Wales. I have said that there is a pressing need to review current legislation on adult protection. The law needs to be clear, accessible and in line with the need to promote equality and human rights. The law is part of a wider picture and not a solution in itself; it is, however, an important tool and we need to ensure that it is an effective one.

"During conversations with those who work in the field of adult protection, it became clear that many people see the current law on adult protection as a confusing maze. This guide seeks to reduce that confusion; its purpose is to help make practitioners more aware of the law available to them in their day to day work. It is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice nor is it a definitive statement of the law.  However, it is hoped that it will provide a helpful starting point. The guide focuses on older people but is also relevant to those working with any adult at risk of harm.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to Professor John Williams of Aberystwyth University who drafted this guide. The guide demonstrates not only Professor Williams’ legal expertise, but also his commitment to the human rights of older people.

"It is my hope that there will be reform of adult protection law in Wales. We want to see a Wales in which respect for the rights and dignity of older people is a practical reality in all areas of life, where age discrimination is a thing of the past and where a positive view of ageing and of older people prevails."

Ruth Marks, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales


April 2011

We have a limited number of hard copies of the Guide in English and Welsh. To receive one of these, please contact or call us on 08442 640670. The online Guide will be updated in accordance with any changes in the law.