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Self neglect is when a person being unable, or unwilling, to care for their own essential needs. It can cover a wide range of behaviour including neglecting personal hygiene, health or surroundings, refusal of necessary support and obsessive hoarding. This type of behaviour has serious implications for the health and wellbeing of the person concerned and for the people who care for and support them.

What is self neglect?

  • lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety
  • neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings
  • inability to avoid harm as a result of self-neglect
  • failure to seek help or access services to meet health and social care needs
  • inability or unwillingness to manage one’s personal affairs

The Care Act 2014 recognises self-neglect as a category of abuse and neglect, which means that people who self-neglect will be supported by safeguarding adults teams, as well as receiving more general social care support.

In October 2020, Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board launched a new animation video which highlights the challenges faced when working with someone who can self-neglect. The key messages from this video were taken from the lessons learnt from Lambeth Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs). Please follow the below link to watch this video:

Lambeth Safeguarding Adults Board Self-Neglect Animation Video

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