Renfrewshire Council

If you think someone is being neglected, call 0300 300 1199 now.

For non-emergencies, refer yourself or someone you know to the Adult Services Team using our online form.


Neglect can have a serious and damaging effect on a person and it shouldn't be underestimated.

Neglect is harmful but not all neglect is deliberate. It sometimes happens because a carer can't cope or is not getting enough help.

Neglect can often be detected by looking at a person's physical, social or health circumstances.

Signs that someone is being neglected include:

  • Dirt, or a smell of urine or faeces
  • Rashes, sores, or lice on the person
  • Not enough clothing
  • The person is malnourished or dehydrated
  • The person has a medical condition that isn't being treated
  • The person isn't being washed or shaved and possibly smells
  • There is evidence that the person isn't being given medicine they need or they are being given too much
  • There is evidence that not enough help is being given with eating and drinking
  • The place where the person is living is dirty and possibly unhealthy

Sometimes a person may choose to live in a way that may look like they are neglecting themselves. There is a difference between choosing a way to live and neglect.

This is one area where it can be challenging to support or protect adults at risk of harm if they are capable of making a deliberate decision to live in a certain way but that other people might think is harmful. This doesn't mean you shouldn't pass on your concerns. It is still important.