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Self-Neglect

Self-neglect covers a wide range of behaviour, neglecting to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Self-neglect covers a wide range of behaviour, neglecting to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. 

Self-neglect is also defined as the inability (intentional or non-intentional) to maintain a socially and culturally accepted standard of self-care with the potential for serious consequences to the health and well-being 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
  • long toenails
  • isolation
  • failure to take medication
  • hoarding large numbers of pets
  • 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.