Neglect is a type of abuse that occurs for people who are dependent on assistance, such as the elderly, children or people with a disability. It is neglect when a person does not receive the assistance they need in order to feel well.
Neglect can be at the hand of a relative or caretaker and can occur within the home or nursing home or other institutions.
- The elderly often need increased assistance in their old age, like with medication or visits to a health care center. It is neglect when a caretaker does not tend to those needs.
- People with a disability often need specialized assistance with daily tasks. It is neglect when people with a disability are injured or need assistance due to illness and do not receive assistance. The same applies when people with a disability need to get between places and do not receive the agreed services.
- Children are in the custody of their parents and it is neglect if a child is poorly dressed, does not receive medication, support with school or enough to eat.
People who are neglected often experience helplessness, fear, anger, anxiety and depression. They have a fear of not being in control of their own lives. This makes them less likely to report neglect. It is important to always report neglect because everyone has the right to feel well.
It may be neglect if the person:
- Dismisses your need for something to drink or eat.
- Ignores your requests for assistance to get to the toilet.
- Does not answer you when you speak.
- Does not give you your medication at the appointed time.
- Does not care if you are wearing dirty or wet clothes.
- Does not take you to a doctor when you need it.
- Does not pick you up as was agreed.
It is always better to tell someone how you feel. If you want assistance you can contact Bjarkarhlíð in Reykjavík or Bjarmahlíð in Akureyri, which specialize in support for adults dealing with any type of abuse. It does not matter how long ago the abuse took place.
Children and adults can always speak to someone at 1717 (the Red Cross help-line) or contact 112 by phone or through web chat.