Tag Archives: Eyes

Self-neglect-Looking through the eyes of abuse


Carolyn Coleman-Grady, RN, BSN

Better web builder


The health care industry cares about the elderly population. To ensure that the health and wellbeing of this aggregate group remain the focus of families and health care providers education on elder abuse is pivotal. It is important that families are equipped to meet the challenges of elderly abuse recognizing elder abuse is the first step. People are living longer and health challenges are challenges increasing.  The health care industry is concerned about Self-neglect. Experts suggest that cognitive deficits (changes) contribute to this problem (Kelly, Camel, Dyer, Pavlik, Doody & Jogert (2008). Taking care of our elderly is important. The question becomes how do we distinguish between non-self-neglect and self-neglect.

A team of experts developed indicators that help determine the differences.

Common signs of elder self-neglect include:

  1. Little or no personal care: poor grooming, dirty or ragged clothes, unclean skin and fingernails
  2. Refusing medication or refusing to stay on medication schedule, unwilling to accept medical care
  3. Disoriented or incoherent: unable to focus, carry on normal conversation or answer basic questions about date, place, and time
  4. Unsafe living conditions: Lack of food or basic utilities in the home, unclean living quarters, rodents or other vermin
  5. Hoarding animals or trash, inability to get rid of unneeded items
  6. Inability to manage finances and property: not paying bills, repeatedly borrows money, gives money or property away
  7. Isolation:: Little contact with family or friends, no social support
  8. Alcohol or drug dependence

It is important to know these indicators. These indicators will help you make better decision. Some decisions may include relocating from home to an assisted living facility, board and care or into your home. To determine the best decision, I suggest you visit facilities, speak with the administrators, activity directors and lead staff members. I can share with you if there is an odor of urine leave.  Patients that are not clean dressed and/or hair is not combed leave the facility.

Remember self-neglect can happen to anyone experts suggest that cognitive changes are contributing factors. Make wise decision when you identify the above indicators. Developing a plan for your elderly family members will help decrease self-neglect. If possible stay connected to your elderly family members, listen patiently and implement an effective plan it will reduce the effects of self-neglect.


Kelly, A., Dyer, C., Pavlik, V., Doody, R., & Jogerst, G. (2008). Exploring self-neglect in older adults: Preliminary findings of the self-neglect severity scale and next steps. Journal of Geriatric nursing 56(2) 254-259.

My name is Carolyn Coleman-Grady

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Cup-Come have a cup of Java with me



Carolyn Coleman-Grady

Better Web Builder


Faith of our father living still in spite of dungeon and swords, Oh how our heart beats high with joy whenever we hear that glorious word. Faith of our father holy faith we will be true to thee till death. These lyrics come from the song Faith of our father. Many of us have sung this song in past times.  Mother Theresa talks about faith being faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Can you imagine your strength lying down in faith and every time you exercise your faith strength wakes up. Building your strength comes in many forms.  There are those who build strength by exercise, pushing themselves and their bodies until they get results.  There are those who power read, and exercise their mind by using critical thinking skill which improve their mental reaction. Sharp thinkers I call them.

Then there are those who want everyone to think for them.  You ask them a question and the reaction you receive is “what, I don’t know.” I wonder why many people don’t like to think?  Is thinking so challenging it runs to the corner and hide.  Let’s go pick up thinking and hold hands until we become one. We have to build our thinking process and not become afraid of the results.  I recently watched an old television series “Dark Shadows” the original version.  There was a dialogue between mother and daughter. They could not seem to see eye to eye.

The daughter became rebellious because she did not want the mother to marry one of the townsmen, she the daughter felt he was not worthy of the mothers hand, so she begin to rebel, dating a rebellious young man who care about nothing.  The young man thought that roaming the world being irresponsible was a way of life and it was ok.  No thought of the future, lacked contribution to society and felt living life as he thought he should is just enough to get by. The question the mother asked “why are you thinking like this, what has come over you, you are smart I don’t know you anymore.”  The daughter response, “I thinking just like you, you never got it right either.”

Wow, I thought, she’s telling her mom “I’m doing exactly what you have done nothing, made bad choices and wondered around in this world thick-headedness. Don’t run around thick-headedness. It will not allow you to think and make the best choice.  If strength lies in faith, as Mother Theresa suggest then exercising a little faith will also promote good thinking too.

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