• social networks;
  • self-neglect;
  • elderly

This article presents a theoretical framework for the study of social and behavioral factors associated with elder self-neglect. The model presented reflects the authors' beliefs that a risk–vulnerability model offers a useful framework from which to study all forms of elder mistreatment, as well as elder self-neglect. This model has particular utility, because it can begin to define the elements of risk and vulnerability that may be addressed using preventative measures as opposed to solely addressing intervention, which is often the case when addressing elder mistreatment and self-neglect. The authors then address a method for using the Consortium for Research in Elder Self-neglect of Texas data as currently constructed and adding to that database to effectively study risks and vulnerabilities in the elder self-neglect population. These additional data would greatly expand the scope of the study. The discussant adds his perspective to the ideas proposed by the authors.