Assessing the mental health needs of older people

Law and policy

This section focuses on areas of law and policy that primarily affect the treatment and care of older people with a mental illness. It is particularly targeted at non-specialist workers who want to know more about the legal framework, including the circumstances under which a person can be detained in a psychiatric setting and what the law says about helping an older person who lacks capacity to make their own decisions.

Law and policy can change regularly and quickly become out of date. The aim of this section is to provide general guidance and an overview of key policy and legal requirements. It is not a substitute for detailed information and casework advice. This section was last updated in June 2006.

Next: The broader context