Neglect is intentional or unintentional failure to provide for an older adult’s basic necessities and care. Inaction may result in harm to an older adult.
Examples of Neglect
- Failure to provide necessities of life, including:
- Food and Water
- Appropriate clothing. For example, a coat for colder conditions
- Medication or medical attention
- Failure to prevent physical harm or injury
- Abandonment or desertion of an older adult
Indicators of neglect (both active and passive) include:
- Malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss
- Withholding treatment for non-injury conditions
- Lack of required appliances or mobility aids
- Necessities of life not being met
- Lack of safety precautions or supervision
- Untidy appearance, inappropriate clothing
- Missing dentures, glasses, or hearing aid
- Poor hygiene
- Unattended for long periods or secured to a chair or bed
NOTE: Some of these indicators may be present and the older adult is not being abused; these are merely possible indicators of abuse.
For more information, please view CPLEA’s Let’s talk: Elder abuse resource manual.