Recent studies of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) showed that self-neglect is one of the biggest threats associated to elderly. Even worse: this problem often goes unreported. According to the survey, conducted by elder care experts, self-neglect is the most common form of non-financial elderly abuse that far outpaces other kinds of abuses and neglecting family members.
The National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) claims that self neglect is “an adult’s inability, due to physical or mental impairment or diminished capacity, to perform essential self-care”, which is a serious, but hidden community problem. Although living-arrangements and lifestyle-choices are not leading directly to self neglect, there are certain signs that may alarm the person’s environment. According to the NAPGCM, the warning signs are the following:
- When the living conditions are unsanitary or unclean
- When the personal hygiene is neglected
- When their health conditions are unattended
- When unpaid bills are piled up
- When elderly suddenly lose weight due to not eating regularly adequate food
- When they refuse to take medication or take it in an unorganized manner
Don’t Shrug it Off!
Stating that “Nothing is wrong” can lead to tragic consequences. There are many ways to prevent elderly from sinking deep into self-neglect; one of them is a medical alert system. Though commonly associated with emergency care, having a personal response unit in one’s home can be more than useful. Besides calling for help, response associates often contact you, checking if everything is alright.
Operators are also trained in medical terms and able to give advices or recommend health services. Elderly value when they have someone they can frequently rely on and share their problems. Knowing that there is someone who looks after them puts their mind at ease and reduces their loneliness.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019