Elder Neglect Is…
The failure of an identified caregiver or responsible other to provide basic necessities, including:
- Necessary medical care
If the elder is neglected and there is no formal or presumed caregiver, then it is Self-Neglect.
Signs Of Elder Neglect Are…
- Lack of medical aids (glasses, teeth, hearing aid, medications)
- Lack of assistive medical devices (wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, canes)
- An unsupervised person with dementia
- A bed-bound person left without care
- Medical orders not followed, including administration of medications
- Delay in seeking care for injuries or medical conditions, including bedsores
- Unchanged diapers or lack of incontinence supplies
If You Suspect Elder Neglect, Ask…
- Does the caregiver isolate the elder?
- Are medications being taken properly? Are prescriptions current?
- Is the elder eating regularly? Do they require help at mealtime?
- Who pays the bills? Who cashes the social security check?
- Is the caregiver compensated? How? Are they “living off” the elder?
- How does the victim’s area compare to the rest of the house (cleanliness, safety, access)?
If You Suspect Elder Neglect…
- Use the First Responder Checklist to document AND DESCRIBE the victim’s hygiene, bedsores (if applicable), living environment, as well as the victim’s overall level of independence and functioning.
- Take photographs of any physical injuries, as well as the living quarters. (See Photo Tips.)
- Financial exploitation often accompanies elder neglect. Explore and document the possibility of other types of abuse.
- Report victim to Adult Protective Services.