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The Human Rights of Older Persons

Kelly Purser , Bridget Lewis , Kirsty Mackie

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This book provides a comprehensive human rights analysis of key areas of law affecting older persons, including legal capacity; elder abuse; accommodation and aged care; healthcare; employment; financial security, retirement, and estate planning; and social and cultural participation. The research identifies individual autonomy and participation in decision-making as fundamental to a human rights-based approach to elder law. The book argues that a paradigm shift must occur away from traditional medical and charity-based understandings of ‘old age’ to instead acknowledge older persons as active holders of enforceable rights. The book argues that a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons is an essential tool in achieving this, but that even without a dedicated treaty there is much to be gained from a human rights-based approach. Significantly, because the issues arising in ‘old age’ are often the culmination of experiences occurring throughout the life course, a human rights-based approach to elder law must begin with a commitment to human rights for people of all ages. 

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