Conference Publication Details
Mandatory Fields
Day, M.R. Leahy-Warren, P. & McCarthy, G.
Irish Association Gerontology and Geriatrics 8th European Region Congress (IAGG-ER) Unlocking the Demographic Dividend,
Understanding Self-Neglect from Older Adults and Social Workers Perspectives in Ireland
Optional Fields
self-neglect, Social workers, self-neglecting clients, assessment
p. 26
Irish Ageing Studies Review 6(1), p. 26
Background Self-Neglect accounts for 18-20% of all cases reported to specialist Social Workers (SWs) Elder Abuse Services (EAS) in Ireland. In addition, 4.6% of elder abuse cases have an element of self-neglect. The studies in this presentation explored and described self-neglect from the perspective of specialist SW (n=7) and older adults confirmed as self-neglecting (n=8) as identified by specialist SWs. Method Exploratory descriptive research design was used. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of older self-neglecting adults (n=8) and specialist SWs (n=7). Thematic content analysis used a nine stage framework. Home environments of older participants were also observed and described. Results Four major themes emerged from specialist SWs perspective: self-neglect as an entity, assessment, interventions and ethical challenges. Five themes emerged from older participant: early life experiences & lifestyle, disconnectivity, vulnerability, frugality and service refusal. The observed home environments of older participants were diverse. Conclusion These studies portray the complexity of issues in relation to self-neglect from the perspective of specialist SWs and older self-neglecting adults. Powerlessness was a concept clearly articulated by the specialist SWs in balancing ethical issues and complexity of cases in managing care of self-neglecting clients. The vulnerability and diversity of participant older adultís life experiences raise serious public health concerns for specialist SWs yet some participant older adults were content and refused services.
Grant Details