The previous chapter provided an overview of medical perspectives on elder abuse to give the reader a knowledge and understanding of the dimensions involved. The purpose of this chapter is to present a similar framework in relation to the law and elder abuse. Firstly, a synthesis of the current position with regard to the law and elder abuse will be presented, although a detailed analysis of the existing legislative framework will not be provided as this would be too complex in a generalist book of this type. In the event of the reader requiring more specific information, other documents should be consulted or legal advice sought (see ADSS, 1995, which contains a useful guide as an appendix; also McDonald and Taylor, 1993, and Ashton, 1994, 1995, for more general guides). It is useful to include a synthesis of the current position with regard to the law and elder abuse so that practitioners are aware of the broad nature and scope of legislation that is available and have an understanding of legal issues within this area. The legal provisions that exist in relation to residential care and abuse occurring within institutions will be covered in the following chapter.
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