Why do elderly stop taking care of themselves?

Some elderly people stop taking their medications, others stop cleaning their homes, and others stop bathing and cleaning. Isolation is common among all types of self-neglect. It's very important to avoid spending too much time alone. Neglect of older people occurs when an older adult can no longer meet their basic daily needs.

While older adults' self-neglect doesn't involve an outside aggressor, it's still considered a form of elder abuse. Any form of abuse poses serious health and safety concerns. In providing care and services, nurses may have the best chance of observing several conditions that indicate the presence of personal neglect, such as nutrition, hydration, injuries, and levels of frailty. Most importantly, in light of the rapid growth of the elderly population, relevant stakeholders (researchers, healthcare providers, social service providers, legal professionals, community organizations and policymakers) must be prepared to deal with the expected increase in the number of cases of self-neglect and the expansion of the extent of the problem.

By recognizing the signs and striving to provide more attention, you can bring agency and life back to your aging loved one. If an older person shows self-abandonment behaviors, it could be a sign that they are experiencing another form of elder abuse, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, or financial exploitation. We know that it can be difficult and time-consuming, so it's important to turn to home care and support services if needed, to provide care management, medical administration, financial management, and more. A recent survey by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Administrators (NAPGCM) revealed some alarming statistics about personal abandonment.

Although no such tool exists until now, professionals involved in providing care and services to older adults should be able to identify signs of associated risk and adjunct factors, especially when it is difficult to obtain authorization to access a private residence (the Chicago Self-Negligence Scale and the Texas Self-Negligence Scale require in-home investigations). APS offices provide social services, such as personal care and emergency shelter, to abused, abandoned, or exploited older adults. You can also report any suspicion of neglect by an older adult to local law enforcement, an ombudsman specializing in long-term care, or your state's toll-free elder abuse hotline. It is rather a passive and, in most cases, involuntary phenomenon, in which the elderly simply can no longer take care of themselves, but no wants to admit or recognize it.

They are usually given the authority to manage the personal, financial and health care decisions of an adult who cannot do so on their own.

Steve Leinen
Steve Leinen

Typical bacon evangelist. Evil web advocate. Hipster-friendly thinker. Wannabe pop culture buff. Typical travel guru. Proud food specialist.

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