Adults experiencing abuse, neglect and self-neglect

Abuse, neglect and self-neglect wears many faces. It can be as subtle as someone withholding money from another person, or as obvious as a slap in the face. Whatever the action, it is based on control and eventually erodes a person's sense of dignity and self. Part 3 of the Adult Guardianship Act, Support and Assistance for Abused and Neglected Adults (Feb., 2000) protects the rights of vulnerable adults experiencing abuse, neglect or self-neglect. It outlines what it is, who should be involved and when, and how to best deal with the situation.

What exactly is abuse, neglect and self-neglect?

ABUSE is the deliberate mistreatment of an adult that causes the adult physical, mental or emotional harm or damage to, or loss of, assets. Abuse can be physical, emotional, financial, sexual or the denial of rights.

Consider the following comments:

•  "If you keep doing that, I'll hit you again."
•  "If you're not careful, I'll send you back to the home."

NEGLECT is the failure to provide necessary care, assistance, guidance or attention to an adult that may cause serious physical, mental or emotional harm or damage to, or loss of, assets. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.

Consider the following comments:

•  "You're not getting any more money/medication until you behave properly."
•  "I'll feed you when I'm ready."

SELF-NEGLECT means a failure by an adult to care for himself that can or is likely to cause serious physical or mental harm or substantial damage to, or loss of, assets.

Self-neglect includes:

•  When a person is not eating properly and they are harming their mental or physical state.
•  When a person is living in very dirty conditions.
•  When a person is acting in ways that cause danger for you or others and having an illness, disease, or injury that makes loss or damage to money and property a high risk.
•  When a person is not getting or taking treatment for an illness, disease or injury.

What can I do about it?

LOTS. If you are being abused or neglected or you witness someone in that situation, there is a network of agencies standing by to help. If the danger is right now, call 911 for the police. Tell someone you trust like a doctor, nurse, friend or Agency Contact.

Agencies that will help are included in our bookmark:

Click Here to access our bookmark!

Even if you are not familiar with any of these agencies, call any one of them and they will help you find the help required.

We all have the right to be safe and respected and we all can help stop abuse, neglect and self-neglect. Keep trying until you get help.

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