Self-neglecting elders often ignore their own health needs and live unsafely in conditions of squalor. Their choice to live in isolation prevents intervention by loved ones, medical professionals, or agencies such as Adult Protective Services. This case study of a 76-year-old man details the many ways in which self-neglect can affect individuals and those around them. The ethical questions involved illustrate a social work dilemma of weighing an individual’s right to make lifestyle choices versus forcing one to adapt to society’s standards.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (CC-BY-NC).