What Is Self-Neglect In Regards To The Elderly?
Neglect can be displayed by many people towards the elderly population like in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, households, and even family members. While neglect is fairly common amongst the elderly population, self-neglect also occurs. Self-Neglect is defined as:“An adult’s inability, due to physical or mental impairment or diminished capacity, to perform essential self-care….”, according to the National Adult Protective Services Association. Everyone is entitled to live they way they want to live, but when a person is unable to care for themselves, a responsible person has to take action in ensuring that they do not commit self-neglect.
Self-neglect is a hidden problem within the United States. Many elderly people are unable to take care of themselves but might state that they are able to. The family members of these individuals need to keep a close eye on their loved one because self-neglect can lead to injuries and even death, just like it can if it was caused by any other person. Self-neglect will often have some warning signs that a loved one can grasp and try to safeguard the elder person from further harm. The Best Nursing home abuse lawyers understand that self-neglect can occur, but if a care provider or family member are aware that it is occurring and do nothing about it, they might be found liable for not taking action to stop the self-neglect.
What Indicators Are There of Self-Neglect?
Self-neglect happens more often in the elderly than in any other age group. Sadly, many family members do not even pay attention to this problem, while others might notice and choose to not take action. Neglect of an elderly person can be catastrophic, especially in such a vulnerable state. Loved ones and family members can identify self-neglect with the following signs:
- Poor personal care like dirty nails or hair, and bad odor
- The refusal to take their prescribed medication or managing their medication poorly
- Signs of malnourishment or dehydration like dry mouth or sudden change in weight
- Filthy living space and environment
- The utilities being cut off or unpaid bills
These signs can indicate that the elderly person is self-neglecting and the family member would have to take immediate action by either accommodating living arrangements with someone that can care for them or care for them themselves, if life permits. Once a person reaches a certain age, it is hard to fulfill the daily activities and basic needs on their own. Family members need to be extremely vigilant with their loved one, especially if they might have a medical condition that might hinder their ability to care for themselves like Alzheimer’s.
Hold Those Who Permit Self-Neglect To Take Place
If a nursing home is permitting an elder person to self-neglect, they will be legally liable for the damage endured by the elder person. Any signs of neglect should be immediately reported, followed by the appropriate action like a civil suit. The elder population are vulnerable to injuries, diseases, and medical conditions. Adding self-neglect will only make matters worse. Miami personal injury attorneys will not allow their clients to suffer any longer.