2.3 Neglect

Neglect refers to withholding or failing to provide appropriate and adequate care to a vulnerable adult.

It can occur due to insufficient information or a lack of knowledge on the subject matter itself, for example, not understanding how to provide care to a frail person, or it can be an intentional decision, for example, not providing necessary medication to an elderly person in your care.

Neglect can directly impact a vulnerable person’s well-being or aggravate an existing problem. For example, an elderly person who is not being cared for might develop an illness for which they are not provided treatment, but a chronic patient might be refused continued treatment for their pain.

It is crucial for all concerned and involved persons that come in contact with vulnerable adults, such as healthcare professionals, to recognize and be mindful of signs of neglect.

These signs can include but are not limited to:

  • Unexplained pain or discomfort
  • Poor hygiene
  • Constant hunger
  • Rapidly declining health.
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