News

Human Rights Day 2019: New guide to the law to protect and promote older people’s rights

10.12.19

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has published a new guide to the law which will help professionals working across health, social care and safeguarding to protect and promote older people’s rights.

‘Protection of older people in Wales: A guide to the law’, published today, includes a wide range of useful information about key legislation relating to older people, including the Human Rights Act, and the ways this can be used to protect and safeguard older people and ensure they can access the services and support they may need. The guide also includes case studies, based on the Commissioner’s case work, to provide practical, real-life examples of the ways that the law can be used and applied.

The guide, now in its third edition, has been updated by John Williams, Emeritus Professor of Law at Aberystwyth University, to include the most up-to-date information about key legislation, and reflect legislative changes in Wales seen in recent years, such as the introduction of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014.

Previous editions of the guide have been amongst the most popular of the Commissioner’s publications and have been widely used to support the work of social care practitioners, social care staff, medical staff, care home owners, lawyers, and students, as well as by older people and their families who want to get a clearer understanding of the laws designed to protect and support them.

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

“Human Rights Day is an important reminder that, regardless of our age, we all have rights, underpinned by legislation, to protect us and the freedoms we often take for granted.

“But through my work and research I have found that around a third of older people – over a quarter of a million people – do not understand their rights, and that many practitioners working with older people are unsure about the ways they can use the law to protect and support older people.

“That’s why I’m publishing an updated version of my guide to the law, which aims to help make practitioners more aware of the law available to support them in their day-to-day work.

“Whilst it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice, nor a definitive statement of law, it offers a detailed overview, providing context and examples of the ways in which practitioners can use the law, which has changed significantly in recent years.

“I would like to thank John Williams, Emeritus Professor of Law at Aberystwyth University, for all of his hard work in drafting the updated version of this guide. John’s commitment to championing human rights and safeguarding older people is inspiring, and his ability to communicate complex concepts in a straightforward way makes this guide a valuable resource for practitioners.

“Through this guide, I want to ensure that the law is understood as widely as possible and used effectively, crucial to help to ensure that older people can access the services and support they may need, that their rights are upheld and respected, and that they are safeguarded and protected.”

Click here to download Protection of Older People in Wales: A Guide to the Law