Neglect and Acts of Omission

Definition of neglect: The failure of any person, who has responsibility for the charge, care or custody of an adult at risk, to provide the amount and type of care that a reasonable person would be expected to provide. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.

Neglect and Acts of Omission includes:

  • Ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs
  • Failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services
  • The withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

The following are also potential indicators of Neglect and Acts of Omission:

  • Poor environmental conditions
  • Inadequate heating and lighting
  • Poor physical condition of the vulnerable adult
  • Clothing is ill-fitting, unclean and in poor condition
  • Malnutrition
  • Failure to give prescribed medication properly
  • Failure to provide appropriate privacy and dignity
  • Inconsistent or reluctant contact with health and social care agencies
  • Isolation – denying access to callers or visitors.

Age UK: Briefing -The Health and Care of Older People in England 2015

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Prevention Information Sheet: Neglect and Acts of Omission