Neglect and acts of omission

What it is

Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet the needs of an adult. Risk of neglect is greater when an adult is dependent on another adult because of age or disability.

Neglect can cause long-term damage to a person’s health and can lead to serious physical or emotional harm, including death.

The types of neglect and acts of omission include:

  • Failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation and activity, personal or medical care
  • Providing care in a way that the person dislikes
  • Failure to administer medication as prescribed
  • Refusal of access to visitors
  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
  • Not taking account of educational, social and recreational needs
  • Ignoring or isolating the person
  • Preventing the person from making their own decisions
  • Preventing access to glasses, hearing aids, dentures, etc.
  • Failure to ensure privacy and dignity

Possible signs of neglect and acts of omission

  • Poor environment – dirty or unhygienic
  • Poor physical condition and/or personal hygiene
  • Pressure sores or ulcers
  • Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss
  • Untreated injuries and medical problems
  • Inconsistent or reluctant contact with medical and social care organisations
  • Accumulation of untaken medication
  • Uncharacteristic failure to engage in social interaction
  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing

Contact information

If you have experienced neglect or you suspect that someone you know has experienced neglect, you can contact 01375 511 000 or safeguardingadults@thurrock.gov.uk

Worried about an adult? 01375 511000

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