Neglect also includes the failure of an elder or dependent adult to satisfy basic needs for himself or herself as a result of poor cognitive functioning, mental limitation, substance abuse, or chronic poor health.
You may notice that an older family member, friend, or neighbor living alone is no longer taking care of themselves. They may appear increasingly disheveled, lack basic personal hygiene, or their home may be growing dirtier and dirtier. In many cases of self-neglect, the older person will refuse to get assistance.
However, there are still things that you can do to help.
- Remember, any older adult deserves dignity and respect. He or she may be in denial, feel ashamed about needing help, or worried about having to leave home. Don’t stop checking in with the older adult, even if you are brushed off. Enlist others to express their feelings of concern to the elder. Sometimes a peer or a neutral party, such as a geriatric care manager, may have a better chance of getting through.
- Make sure the older adult is connected with medical services. Self-neglect can be a sign of depression, grief, dementia, or other medical causes. If you know the person’s doctor, you can share your concerns. While the doctor may not be able to discuss the case with you if you do not have the older adult’s permission, you can write a letter or call to make sure that your concerns are heard.
- It can be a real challenge to respect an older adult’s right to autonomy while at the same time making sure they are properly cared for. If you are concerned that a person’s ability to take care of themselves safely is compromised, you can look into legal guardianship or legal conservatorship. If there is not an appropriate family member available, a guardian can be appointed by the court.
At Elder Protection Center we’re here to take immediate action to protect victims of financial elder abuse. If you suspect someone you love is a victim of self-neglect or if you have questions regarding their mistreatment – Call Us Now.
At Elder Protection Center, Protecting the People You Love is our number one priority. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.