Self Neglect

Self neglect

Self neglect entails neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.  It is also defined as the inability (intentional or unintentional) to maintain a socially and culturally accepted standard of self-care with the potential for serious consequences to the health and wellbeing of the individual and sometimes to their community.

Indicators of self-neglect may be:

    • living in very unclean, sometimes verminous, circumstances;
    • poor self-care leading to a decline in personal hygiene;
    • poor nutrition;
    • poor healing/sores;
    • poorly maintained clothing;
    • isolation;
    • failure to take medication;
    • hoarding;
    • neglecting household maintenance;
    • portraying eccentric behaviour/lifestyles;

NOTE: Poor environments and personal hygiene may be a matter of personal or lifestyle choice or other issues such as insufficient income.

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