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Communtity Law Manual | Family violence & elder abuse | Protection for older people against abuse or neglect

Protection for older people against abuse or neglect


As we explain in this section, there are a number of legal mechanisms and offences that provide protection for older people:

  • When you’re younger you can plan for your future care by appointing a person you trust to have power (an “enduring power of attorney”) to make decisions about your personal care or your property (or both), if you become unable to make decisions for yourself, whether through advancing age or some event like a serious accident.
  • As well as relevant general offences like assault, the criminal law also includes a number of offences that are specifically about protecting vulnerable adults, including those who are older.
  • The family violence laws provide protections against violence or abuse by people in family or other domestic relationships.
  • Professional carers who abuse or neglect those they’re responsible for can be the subject of a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner.
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