16 December 2020
The Government of Jersey is urging Islanders to be alert to signs of self-neglect and isolation in their family and friends, and to report any welfare concerns they have.
The campaign was originally launched in April, following a 50% increase in welfare calls to the States of Jersey Police in the first month of lockdown. It has been relaunched following the introduction of new COVID-19 measures, including increased physical distancing, and shielding for vulnerable Islanders.
Self-neglect can include not eating enough food, not getting appropriate medical care, wearing unsuitable clothes or living in unsanitary conditions, or failing to seek needed health and social care.
It can be experienced by a range of people, including:
- People who live alone and are frail
- People who have mental health issues, including depression or psychotic disorders
- People who have dementia or brain damage
- People with alcohol or drug problems
- People with a history of poor personal hygiene or living conditions
Detective Superintendent, Stewart Gull, said: “During lockdown earlier this year, we saw an increase in welfare calls, where people were concerned for the wellbeing of a loved one, friend, or neighbour. Thanks in part to these calls, we were able to work with the appropriate services to help protect people who might be lonely, isolated, or vulnerable.
“I’d urge Islanders to check in regularly with the vulnerable people they know and help us by reporting the issue before it escalates.”
Chair of the Safeguarding Partnership, Sarah Elliot, said: “Increased COVID-19 regulations mean that day-to-day life looks different for everyone. But for already vulnerable people, the increased isolation and lack of social contact can cause issues to worsen.
“Some people, especially those with existing conditions such as dementia, may not realise that they are neglecting themselves. That’s why it’s vital that each of us does our part by checking in with our family, loved ones, and neighbours, and helping that individual to access support.”
Islanders who are concerned about the welfare of an individual can contact:
- Adult Safeguarding - Single Point of Referral (SPOR) on (01534) 444440 or by email at SPOR@health.gov.
- Mental Health Community Team - by email AMHSReferralPathway@health.gov.je or on (01534) 443250.
- ConnectMe, who can offer support with food delivery and other services email@example.com or (01534) 445566
- Or in an emergency call the States of Jersey Police or Jersey Ambulance Service on 999.
The Listening Lounge is also available for any Islanders who need to talk, on (01534) 866793.