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Neglect and Self-Neglect

Neglect is defined as the refusal or failure to fulfill any part of a person's obligations or duties to an elder or dependent adult. Neglect may also include failure of a person who has fiduciary responsibilities to provide care for an elder or dependent adult (e.g. pay for necessary home care services) or the failure on the part of an in-home service provider to provide necessary care. Neglect typically means the refusal or failure to provide an elderly person or dependent adult with such life necessities as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety, and other essentials included in an implied or agreed-upon responsibility to an elder or dependent adult.

Signs and symptoms of neglect include:

  • Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores, and poor personal hygiene
  • Unattended or untreated health problems
  • Hazardous or unsafe living condition or arrangements (e.g. dirt, fleas, lice on a person, soiled bedding, fecal/urine smell, inadequate clothing)
  • An elder/dependent adult's report of being mistreated

Self-Neglect is defined as the failure of an elder or dependent adult to adequately take care of themselves and meet the demands of daily living to eat, pay bills, meet personal hygiene needs, and take medications.

Self-Neglect is NOT A CRIMINAL MATTER. It should be reported to Adult Protective Services at (800) 510-2020 for evaluation.

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