Self Neglect and Hoarding

Self Neglect

Self neglect is a complex issue and is often a feature in Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs). The Care Act 2014 recognises self-neglect as a category of abuse and neglect, which means that people who self-neglect will be supported by safeguarding adults teams, as well as receiving more general social care support.

Self neglect is when a person being unable, or unwilling, to care for their own essential needs. It can cover a wide range of behaviour including neglecting personal hygiene, health or surroundings, refusal of necessary support and hoarding. It can include:

  • lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety
  • neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings
  • inability to avoid harm as a result of self-neglect
  • failure to seek help or access services to meet health and social care needs
  • inability or unwillingness to manage one’s personal affairs

Wiltshire has developed Self Neglect Guidance and an accompanying Hoarding Protocol designed to help to identify the signs of self-neglect and how to respond.

The guidance explains what self-neglect is and the various forms takes. It will help to identify the signs and understand how to support someone who may be self-neglecting.

A quick reference guide to self neglect.


Hoarding is a recognised mental health diagnosis. It is the excessive collection and retention of any material to the point that living space is sufficiently cluttered to preclude activities for what they are designed for.

Those who care for someone hoarding often go through forms of mental health stigma, which can often set difficult challenges in their relationship with the person hoarding.

Hoarding disorders are challenging to treat because many people who hoard frequently do not see it as a problem, or have little awareness of how it’s affecting their life or the lives of others. This can lead to families and friends struggling to maintain a relationship with the person who has the disorder.

You can read the Wiltshire Multi-Agency Hoarding protocol here and find further resources in our Resource Hub.

Self Neglect and Hoarding Forum

We are a forum of professionals across many disciplines within adult health, social care, housing and partner agencies. We meet quarterly to share experiences, case studies, research and good practice and support on a quarterly basis.

Our multi-agency Self-Neglect and Hoarding forum meets quarterly via Microsoft Teams.  The next meeting dates are:

  • 5th September 2024 – 10.00 am
  • 5th December 2024 -10.00 am

For more information please contact 

Presentation slides from the last meeting on 17th May 2024 can be found here and the poem referred to in the slides can be found here.

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