Arizona Attorney General

Mark Brnovich

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Self-Neglect

  • The Public Policy Institute of AARP estimates that self-neglect represents 40% to 50% of cases reported to Adult Protective Services. Other studies put the number as high as two thirds of neglect cases. In fact, self-neglect may be the most common form of neglect among older adults.

    Self-neglect occurs when older adults, by choice or by lack of awareness, live in ways that are harmful to themselves. They may be unwilling or unable to perform essential self-care tasks such as providing food and clothing, getting the right medical care, maintaining personal hygiene or managing financial affairs. There are a number of potential factors that lead to self-neglect:

    • Dementia
    • Illness, malnutrition, and overmedication
    • Depression
    • Substance abuse
    • Poverty
    • Isolation