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Elder Neglect

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

Elder neglect occurs when a carer fails to properly care for you. A carer may be a family member or someone else who is responsible for caring for you. Your carer may not bathe, dress, or feed you regularly. He or she may leave you alone in unsafe places. He or she may not give you the treatments you need, or give you the wrong amount of medicines. Neglect can happen in your own home, the carer's home, or a facility, such as a nursing home.


Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


You may need to rest and get plenty of sleep. Tell your healthcare providers if you have trouble sleeping.


Elder neglect may cause you to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you go to a counselor to talk about how you are feeling.


Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

Skin care:

You may need to sleep on a special mattress called an egg crate or air mattress. You will need to be turned often if you cannot move by yourself. This will keep you from having pressure injuries.

Injury or wound care:

Ask your healthcare provider for information about how to treat injuries.


  • Report neglect: It may be hard to report neglect, but it is very important. Healthcare providers can help you if you are at risk for or are a victim of elder neglect.
  • Go to follow-up visits: Your healthcare provider may talk to you, your family, friends, or those who should be held responsible for elder neglect. This may include what may happen if elder neglect does not stop.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You develop pressure injuries.
  • You cannot go to your next office visit.
  • You have new signs and symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
  • You feel that you cannot cope with your condition or your recovery from it.
  • You have shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat.

© Copyright Merative 2022 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.