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Who is a Vulnerable Adult?

Who is a vulnerable adult/adult at risk?


Vulnerable Adult Definition

"A person who is 18 years of age or over, and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself, or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation."

(Law Commission - Who Decides?: Making decisions on behalf of mentally incapacitated adults 1997)

Factors of a Vulnerable Adult:

  • Is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • Has a learning disability
  • Has a physical disability and / or a sensory impairment
  • Has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • Has a long-term illness / condition
  • Misuses substances or alcohol
  • Is a carer, where the person meets the definition
  • Is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support.


WBSAB Policies
File type Document File size
pdf WBSAB Complaints Procedure
270 KB