Neglect and self-neglect

Neglect and acts of omission

Types of neglect and acts of omission
• Failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation and activity, personal or medical care
• Providing care in a way that the person dislikes
• Failure to administer medication as prescribed
• Refusal of access to visitors
• Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
• Not taking account of educational, social and recreational needs
• Ignoring or isolating the person
• Preventing the person from making their own decisions
• Preventing access to glasses, hearing aids, dentures, etc.
• Failure to ensure privacy and dignity

Possible indicators of neglect and acts of omission
• Poor environment – dirty or unhygienic
• Poor physical condition and/or personal hygiene
• Pressure sores or ulcers
• Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss
• Untreated injuries and medical problems
• Inconsistent or reluctant contact with medical and social care organisations
• Accumulation of untaken medication
• Uncharacteristic failure to engage in social interaction
• Inappropriate or inadequate clothing

Self-neglect or self-abuse
Types of self-neglect or self-abuse
• Lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety
• Neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings
• Inability to avoid self-harm
• Failure to seek help or access services to meet health and social care needs
• Inability or unwillingness to manage one’s personal affairs

Indicators of self-neglect or self-abuse
• Very poor personal hygiene
• Unkempt appearance
• Lack of essential food, clothing or shelter
• Malnutrition and/ or dehydration
• Living in squalid or unsanitary conditions
• Neglecting household maintenance
• Hoarding
• Collecting a large number of animals in inappropriate conditions
• Non-compliance with health or care services
• Inability or unwillingness to take medication or treat illness or injury

For more information about hoarding, please see the 4LSAB Hoarding Guidance available on the Policies & Procedures page.

For more resources on self-neglect and hoarding, click here.