An increase in elder abuse cases in Oregon has prompted the search for a dedicated prosecutor and two investigators for the state. Approximately 30,000 reports of elder abuse were made in Oregon in 2013 alone.
Elder abuse is particularly serious, and something that can often go unnoticed. As families leave their elderly loved ones in the care of home healthcare providers and nursing homes, they trust that their senior family members will receive the utmost care. However, the figures show that abuse happens every day, and its effects can be seen in a variety of ways – from physical and emotional damage, through to impact on the elder’s finances and assets.
The Difficulty Behind Proving Elder Abuse Cases
According to Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, elder abuse cases can often be challenging to prosecute. This is because the perpetrators of these crimes can be the victim’s family members, or have a close relationship with the victim. They may be a home healthcare provider, or a nursing home facility.
Elderly victims can be slow to realize that they are being harmed by a person or facility to whom their care is entrusted. This can impede an investigation and result in the victim being reluctant to assist a prosecutor. He or she may feel they have no-one else to care for them. It is also particularly difficult where the victim may have a form of dementia or memory problems, making it difficult for them to accurately remember what happened, or that anything happened at all.
Oregon at the Forefront of Protecting Seniors
Together with stakeholder organizations, including the Alzheimer’s Association, Elders in Action, and the Office of the Long-term Care Ombudsman, the Oregon Attorney General has been working to secure resources that will help to manage the volume of elder abuse cases.
If the new prosecutor and investigators are hired, Oregon would be just the second state in the country to have a prosecutor dedicated to investigating these types of cases – great news for current and potential future victims.
Consult an Elder Abuse Attorney
If you have an elderly loved one who has been the victim abuse, it is important to take immediate steps to secure their safety, and seek compensation to help with their recovery.
Our attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke have been handling elder abuse cases for many years, and we know that this can be an emotionally challenging and distressing time for both the victim and his or her family. We approach each case with diligence, professionalism and compassion.
For a free initial consultation, we welcome your call to our office at (541) 617-0555.