Spotting the signs of self-neglect

We need your help to spot the signs of self-neglect. This is when someone does not look after themselves properly.

It can affect anyone, although older people and those with physical or mental health issues are more at risk.

To raise awareness of this important issue, the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Adults Board has launched a dedicated borough-wide campaign (we are a key partner on the Board).

The campaign will run until the end of February 2019 and aims to encourage you to look out for the signs of self-neglect.

Signs of self-neglect

There are three recognised forms of self-neglect:

Lack of self-care may involve someone neglecting their personal hygiene, or not eating or drinking enough. Signs include people looking hungry or losing weight; having poor personal hygiene, such as soiled clothes or dirty nails and skin; not taking their medication or attending medical appointments; or not taking an interest in themselves or life in general.

Lack of caring for their environment may result in unpleasant or dirty conditions in the home. Signs include rubbish piling up, or a very unclean environment, leading to animal and insect infestations; items being hoarded (i.e. nothing is thrown away); lack of basic essentials in the home like food, heating or water; or the home is unsafe as a result of disrepair or lack of maintenance.

• The third form of self-neglect is refusing services that could help them overcome the above issues.

What to do if you’re worried

Working together with partner agencies, Rochdale adult care, part of Rochdale Borough Council, is on hand to support people at risk of self-neglect. And the earlier people get help the better!

You can contact Rochdale adult care on 0300 303 8886 or email

Rochdale adult care professionals are highly experienced, compassionate and will take all concerns seriously. They will talk to the person at risk to find out what they want to happen and will work with them, together with other services, to agree a plan of action that best meets their needs and wishes.

If you feel an adult is in immediate danger you should contact the police on 999.

You can find out more at