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Neglect is deliberate or inadvertent failure on the part of an informal or formal caregiver to provide needed assistance to the older person. Neglect may include failure to provide:

  • water or food
  • shelter
  • clothing
  • medication or medical attention
  • assistance with basic necessities

In some circumstances, an older person who is neglecting themselves may refuse assistance. These cases are often related to physical limitations or cognitive difficulties.

Signs of possible neglect may include:

  • dehydration or malnourishment
  • untreated bedsores or other medical problems
  • unsanitary household conditions or lack of personal care
  • unsafe living conditions or homelessness

Abuse happens when one person hurts or mistreats another. Remember:

  • Seniors are entitled to respect.
  • Seniors have a right to adequate care and attention.
  • Seniors have every right to live in safety and security.
  • There is no excuse for abuse.

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