Kristen L. Mauk, PhD DNP RN CRRN GCNS-BC GNP-BC FAAN, is a professor of nursing at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN.
Ethical Perspectives on Self-Neglect Among Older Adults
Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2012
2011 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
Volume 36, Issue 2, pages 60–65, March-April 2011
How to Cite
Mauk, K. L. (2011), Ethical Perspectives on Self-Neglect Among Older Adults. Rehabilitation Nursing, 36: 60–65. doi: 10.1002/j.2048-7940.2011.tb00067.x
- Issue online: 27 MAR 2012
- Version of Record online: 27 MAR 2012
Self-neglect is a serious and growing problem among older adults. A 2004 survey from Adult Protective Services (APS) showed that adults age 60 or older were named in 85,000 reports of self-neglect from 21 states (Naik, Lai, Kunik, & Dyer, 2008; Teaster, Dugar, Mendiondo, Abner, & Cecil, 2006). Although rehabilitation nurses are obligated to uphold the autonomy of older adults and strengthen their independence, dilemmas result when people's poor health behaviors put them or others at risk for negative consequences. When making decisions about nursing actions related to self-neglecting elderly people, the basic principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and capacity must be considered. The purpose of this article is to discuss major ethical perspectives related to self-neglect among older adults.