Adult Support and Protection Day: Spotting signs of neglect and self-neglect

The number of people referred to Adult Support and Protection has risen by more than 200 a week in the last year.

Today (20 Feb) makes Adult Support and Protection Day, when people are encouraged to look out for signs of neglect.

In general, the majority of harm to adults has occurred in individuals’ own homes.

There were around 940 Adult Support and Protection referrals per week, on average between December 2021 and December 2022, compared to an average of around 700 the year before.

The average increased to around 980 per week between June and December 2022.

Although there is volatility in the figures, there has been a general upward trend in Adult Support and Protection referrals since March 2021.

Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“We know that the cost of living crisis is making day to day decisions harder for many, and for those looking after others, or struggling to take care of themselves it could be making things even harder. The important thing is that people know what to look for and where to go to get help for anyone they are worried about may be suffering from neglect or self-neglect.

“Everyone has a role to play in keeping people safe from harm, and Adult Support and Protection Day helps highlight the role people in the community have in raising concerns. I would like to thank the ASP National Communications Group for all the effort that has gone into raising the focus on this and helping ensure people are getting the help that they need.”

Brenda Walker, National Adult Support and Protection Coordinator said,

“It’s sometimes hard to see when someone is struggling to manage, or you might feel you don’t want to interfere. Sharing your concern is the right thing to do and can allow support to be offered.

“Right now, many people are finding it even more difficult, and the cost of living crisis is making already challenging situations worse.

“Harm can happen anywhere: in someone’s home, where they work, in a public place – often caused by the people closest to them. It can even happen in places responsible for keeping someone safe, such as a care home or day centre.”


If you see something – say something!

If you’re worried that someone isn’t taking care of themselves, or those they look after, or is doing things that might put their safety at risk, contact your local social work team (search Adult Protection), alert the Police on 101, or 999 if there is immediate danger.

You can also visit Act Against Harm for more information and contact details for your local council.

Don’t let someone suffer in silence – if you see something – say something!

Scroll to top