Elder abuse and neglect: challenges and directions for legal reform

Laura Breedan

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The last two decades have heralded an increased community and professional awareness of the phenomenon of elder abuse and the challenges it poses to the enjoyment of the human rights of some older people. The contemporary Australian legal system provides many of the components of a framework required to assist in the promotion of the rights of the elderly and in the prevention and remedy of elder abuse. This framework acts in concert with health and community services dedicated to the advancement of health and wellbeing into old age. In the future, the acknowledgment and adoption of international legal principles which are directed to the needs of the elderly, the reform of existing domestic legislation and the development of new elder-specific statutes may all impact upon the incidence and consequences of elder abuse. To date, no Australian jurisdiction has adopted a legislative regime targeted specifically at the issues confronting older Australians who may be vulnerable to abuse and neglect. This column looks at some of the options for legal reform in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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