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Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to fulfil their responsibility to provide a suitable level of required care.

It can be in three forms: Active, Passive and Self-Neglect.

Active neglect refers to a caregiver who wilfully and intentionally withholds care or necessities. This neglect may be motivated by financial gain or other reasons.

Passive neglect refers to a situation in which the caregiver is unable to fulfil his or her caregiving responsibilities, either through illness, ignorance, stress or lack of resources.

Self-neglect refers to a situation in which there is no perpetrator and neglect is a result of the person refusing care. The act of omission is when anyone knows that abuse is taking place, but they fail to report it.

Indicators of neglect include poor personal hygiene such as soiled or dirty clothing; dirty nails or skin, matted or lice-infected hair, odours and the presence of faeces or urine. Other indicators could be pressure sores or skin rashes, wearing inappropriate clothes for the temperature, or no clothing at all. Dehydration, which can be evident by dry skin, low urinary output, dry sore mouth, apathy, lack of energy, and mental confusion. Untreated medical or mental conditions. The absence of needed dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, walkers, wheelchairs, braces, or commodes. Chronic illnesses getting worse despite a care plan, and also worsening dementia.

Behavioural indicators observed in the caregiver include expressing anger, frustration, or exhaustion. No contact with the outside world, friends, or relatives. They may show an obvious lack of caregiving skills, or be unreasonably critical and dissatisfied with social or healthcare providers, and change their providers frequently or even refuse to apply for economic aid and resist outside help altogether.

Behavioural indicators observed in the victim include emotional distress, crying, depression, despair, nightmares and difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite that is unrelated to a medical condition. They may be confused or disorientated, possibly as a result of malnutrition. They may appear emotionally numb, withdrawn, detached or exhibit destructive behaviour and exhibit fear towards their caregiver. Finally, they may express unrealistic expectations about their care and claim that their care is adequate when it's clearly not, or they will insist that the situation will improve.