Other Safety Concerns and Self-Neglect
Other safety concerns focus on instances of seniors or disabled adults suffering from self-neglect, hoarding or cluttering. Self-neglect is defined as self-care and/or living conditions that are potentially hazardous to the health, safety or well-being of adults.
These are commonly reported signs of self-neglect* reported to Adult Protective Services agencies:
- Inadequate heating, plumbing or electrical service disconnected
- Pathways unclear due to large amounts of clutter
- Animal feces in home
- Residence is extremely dirty, filled with garbage, or very poorly maintained
- Not cashing monthly checks
- Needing medical care, but not seeking or refusing
- Lacking fresh food, possessing only spoiled food, or not eating
- Refusing to allow visitors into residence
- Giving away money inappropriately
- Dressing inappropriately for existing weather conditions
* Definitions of self-neglect vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Please contact your local APS office for additional information.
When To Report Other Safety Concerns and Self-Neglect?
If you witness a life-threatening situation involving a senior or adult with disabilities, immediately call 911.
Contact your local Adult Protective Services agency anytime you observe the following:
- Appearing disheveled, routinely in soiled and/or rumpled clothing
- Appearing with strong odor of feces or urine
- Displaying matted or lice-infected hair
- Appearing malnourished and/or dehydrated
- Appearing inappropriately attired for climate
- Living with serious untreated medical conditions and refusing treatment
- Living in squalor, dilapidated building or other hazardous situations
- Challenging to safely exit or enter residence due to hoarding/cluttering