The assembly also approved the commissioner’s powers: to act as an advocate for older people, encourage best practice in their treatment, issue guidance and recommendations, investigate individual cases and to assist people making complaints.
Welsh deputy health minister John Griffiths said defending older people’s dignity and investigating abuse cases were likely to be at the top of the commissioner’s agenda.
But Sarah Stone, campaigns manager at Age Concern Cymru, said it would be important for the commissioner to manage expectations.
“There are very significant issues about treatment of vulnerable people, human rights and age discrimination to be looking at early on. But it is vital that what the commissioner says falls on fertile ground,” she added.
The post is unlikely to be filled until the end of the year because the recruitment process cannot begin until after the assembly elections in May.