The Care Act 2014 defines self-neglect as wide ranging & covering:

  • Neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene
  • Neglecting to care for one’s health
  • Neglecting to care for one’s surroundings
  • Hoarding* which can include:
    • Inanimate objects (commonly clothes, newspapers, books, DVDs, letters & food/packaging)
    • Animals
    • Data

*Excessive collection & retention of any material to the point that it impedes day to day functioning

This could also involve refusal of services, treatment, assessments or intervention, which could potentially improve self-care or care of one’s environment. There are other less overt forms of self – neglect such as: eating disorders; misuse of substance; and alcohol abuse. Self-neglect differs from other safeguarding concerns as there is no perpetrator of abuse, however, abuse cannot be ruled out as a purpose for becoming self-neglectful.

Prevention Information Sheet: Self-Neglect

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