Neglect is the failure of a carer to provide the necessities of life to a person for whom they are caring. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.
Unintentional neglect occurs when a carer does not have the skills or knowledge to care for a dependent person, although this is a situation that is unlikely to occur in the residential care setting. The carer may not be aware of the types of support that are available, or they may be ill themselves and unable to provide care.
Neglect is considered intentional when an older person is abandoned or not provided with adequate food, clothing, personal items, medical or dental care. Inappropriate use of medication (overuse, under-use or misuse), not providing adequate hygiene and personal care, and not allowing other people to provide adequate care are also forms of neglect.