Older adults often depend on their loved ones or caregivers to help them with daily living tasks, financial matters and other responsibilities that they can no longer handle due to aging or medical conditions. If you take on the care of an elderly individual, you have certain obligations to ensure that person is healthy and safe.

If you ever suspect neglect or abuse, it is your responsibility to report it and remove the person from the situation. While abuse is fairly easy to recognize, you may not understand what constitutes neglect.

Neglect explained

The National Adult Protective Services Association explains neglect is any type of mistreatment that results from inadequate attention. For example, if you hire someone to provide basic care of your loved one and you find out that he or she is not bathing your loved one, then this is neglect.

Physical, emotional, financial

Neglect can be physical, emotional or financial. Physical neglect is the easiest to spot because you will see physical signs and symptoms. The example of a caregiver not bathing your loved one is physical neglect.

Emotional neglect is more difficult to pick up on because it will usually happen when the caregiver is alone with your loved one, and it leaves no physical signs. Emotional neglect may include ignoring requests for help or causing intentional distress. It could also include abandoning your loved one and leaving him or her without care.

Financial neglect is not taking care of a person’s finances properly. It may also include scamming the person or stealing from him or her for financial gain. Many times, you will not notice financial neglect until it has been happening for a while.