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