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This covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. It should be noted that self-neglect may not prompt a Section 42 enquiry. An assessment should be made on a case by case basis. A decision on whether a response is required under safeguarding will depend on the adult’s ability to protect themselves by controlling their own behaviour. There may come a point when they are no longer able to do this, without external support.

Professionals determining that self-neglect is a lifestyle choice made with full capacity should record clearly how they have arrived at that decision and the evidence that supported it. 

Social Care Institute for Excellence has a number of resources for professionals and carers to understand how to approach this condition.

Care and Support Hub explains why some people may hoard, the signs of hoarding, and if needed how they are treated.

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