The National Adult Protective Services Association cites that as many as 1 in 10 elderly adults has been neglected, exploited or abused in some form over the past year, with there being over 35,000 reports of suspected neglect or abuse in Oregon alone. This number should continue to rise as more than 10,000 individuals turn 65 every day across this nation, and as the baby boomers continue to age and require specialized care.
What Is Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Abuse?
Below are some of the most common kinds of abuse that we come across as elder abuse personal injury lawyers. Mistreatment of nursing home residents by caregivers can involve a number of situations that result in physical, emotional, or financial harm to the elder adult. Abuse and neglect can include any of the types of mistreatment listed below:
- Abandonment, such as desertion by the person responsible for providing care to a vulnerable adult
- Failure of the caregiver to provide articulated or expected care and services to the resident, whether intentional or negligent
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Any untreated medical condition
- A caregiver’s attitude of indifference to the resident’s physical needs
- Failure to maintain a clean living environment for the resident
- Financial abuse and exploitation of the resident’s resources including misappropriation of funds and illegal or improper use of the resident’s accounts
- Infliction of physical pain
- Inappropriate use of chemical or physical restraints
- Sexual abuse or rape
- Emotional abuse, such as verbal assaults or threats
These are all egregious forms of abuse and neglect that no loved one should be put through – especially not when he or she is entrusted to the care of a facility whose business is to care for the elderly.
What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from neglect, abuse, or financial exploitation, the first step is to remove them from that situation so that he or she is kept safe. Of course, ensuring that any injuries, both physical and psychological, are treated by experts in this area is important. Often the elderly are unable to clearly communicate what has happened to them, but thankfully, health professionals who work in this area can be of great assistance.
The Oregon Department of Human Services has fantastic additional up-to-date resources as well as a toll free phone number, 1-855-503-SAFE, that anyone can call to report suspected neglect or abuse and receive further information.
Another key part to reporting elder abuse is obtaining evidence. Speak to your loved one about what he or she has experienced, take photographs that show any potential signs of abuse and gather witness statements.
If your vulnerable elder loved one has experienced any form of elder abuse or nursing home neglect in Oregon, call us today for a free consultation and to discuss your case. We care and we can help.