Self-Neglect & Hoarding

The Care Act Guidance states that self-neglect covers a wide range of behaviour; neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Self-neglect involves the complex interplay of physical, mental, social, personal and environmental factors, all of which must be explored in order to understand the meaning of self-neglect in the context of each individual’s life experience.

Hoarding is now considered a standalone mental disorder and is included in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 2013, however, hoarding can also be a symptom of other mental disorders. Hoarding disorder is distinct from the act of collecting, it is not simply a lifestyle choice and is also different from people whose property is generally cluttered or messy.

Included below are resources to assist professionals to identify and respond appropriately when supporting people where concerns exist in relation to Self-Neglect and Hoarding and the form for making a referral.



If you are concerned an individual is at significant risk of harm due to self-neglect or hoarding you can make a referral using the form below:


Self-Neglect and Hoarding Resources


Below is a Suffolk 2018 self-neglect and hoarding case study, which used signs of safety methodology. The learning highlights the importance of the self-neglect referral pathway and assessment tool.