When you say "self neglect" what specific rule or law are you referring to? If this applies to adult protective services their rules must be in writing and something they can give you or you can look up on the internet. Once you have the rule in writing you can see how closely the facts and law line up. To make a stronger case try writing down the facts that support the definition of "self neglect" and present that to adult protective services.
The answer given here is for educational purposes only so those who need a lawyer can have a more successful initial meeting with a lawyer of their choice. The statements are not legal advice and the intention of this writing is that no attorney-client relationship is formed by those reading these answers. Also be sure to get a second opinion to the answers given here if you choose to do so.
There is no such thing as self neglect. An individual who has capacity to make informed choices is entitled to live in a manner others might not like provided he isn't a danger to himself or others and isn't being abused or exploited. APS normally will step in to help a vulnerable adult who lacks capacity and needs help or who is being abused or exploited. Talk to an APS supervisor or elder law attorney.
Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.
If your elder cannot take adequate care of himself or herself, you should talk to an elder law attorney to look at filing a guardianship for that person. The state will not do that for you.