2.1 This chapter frames and situates the issue of elder abuse, both demographically and conceptually. The first section provides a picture of the diversity of older people in Australia—who they are, where they live, and the fact that older people will make up an increasing proportion of all Australians in the coming years. Next, the chapter considers the issue of abuse of older Australians, and explores the concept of ‘elder abuse’, as well as setting out available evidence about the level of elder abuse in Australia. The chapter then considers how legal responses to elder abuse are framed by Australia’s federal division of responsibilities for issues affecting older people, and human rights considerations.
2.2 Finally, the chapter sets out the interrelationship of the ALRC’s framing principles for this Inquiry—dignity and autonomy and protection and safeguarding—and outlines the conceptual underpinnings of the terminology used in this Report.