Neglect is the failure of any person who has responsibility for the charge, care or custody of an adult to provide the amount and type of care that a reasonable person would be expected to provide.
Behaviour that can lead to neglect includes including ignoring medical or physical needs, failing to allow access to appropriate health, social care and educational services, and withholding the necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition, hydration or heating.
Neglect can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional neglect such as withholding meals may constitute ‘wilful neglect’ and is a criminal act punishable under law (Mental Capacity Act 2005 Section 44).
Possible signs of neglect:
- Untreated medical problems
- Bed sores