Self-neglect in the elderly accounts
for the majority of cases reported to adult protective
is a blanket term used to describe situations in which older people,
in the judgment of others, are thought to be neglecting their needs
and putting themselves at high risk of additional and serious
Sometimes the consequences are permanent and at other times
can be reversed if the circumstances, attitudes, and behaviors
contributing to the lack of self-care are changed and improved.
of elder self-neglect, elements considered to be essential in all
people who neglect their needs for nutrition, hygiene, financial
solvency, medical care, or adequate shelter do so for reasons as
varied as there are human predicaments. The key difference between
services for protecting children and those for adults is that
mentally competent adults who do not wish to be protected have the
right to refuse all assistance.
to the elder’s self-esteem in matters of life style and
what motivates the elder to achieve good standards of
of service alternatives that give the elder choices.
the elder’s right to decide about using offered services—a right
that may include rejection of any assistance.