The most far-reaching reforms of adult social care law in 60 years are needed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable citizens, the body which reviews laws in England and Wales has said.
The Law Commission, which recommends law reform, said a single, clear, modern statute and code of practice was needed to pave the way for a "more coherent" social care system.
The fragmented and flawed current laws are out of date, more than 40 statutes need scrapping or amending and thousands of pages of often-contradictory guidance must be consigned to history, the commission said.
Frances Patterson QC, the law commissioner leading the review, said: "Today signals a significant step in moving us closer to a clearer and more coherent framework for adult social care.
"Our recommendations will bring much-needed clarity and accessibility to this important area of the law, and have a major, beneficial impact on the lives of many of our most vulnerable citizens."
Ms Patterson said the changes would help "protect the strong rights that exist in adult social care law while, at the same time, ensuring that emerging policy objectives, such as personalisation and self-directed support, are recognised fully in statute law".
The Government is expected to bring in legislation next year after reviewing the recommendations.
In its review of adult social care, the commission said current laws were "an often-incoherent patchwork of legislation" which made interpretation of the law "complex and time-consuming".
Under the proposals, a unified statute would set out a single, clear duty to assess a person and put the individual's well-being "at the heart of decision-making". The assessment would "focus on the person's care and support needs and the outcomes they wish to achieve", rather than having any service-led approach.
A duty to assess carers would also be introduced, removing the requirement for a carer to provide "a substantial amount of care on a regular basis", which was criticised for being an "overly complex" test.