Portland Elder Abuse Lawyer
Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Oregon
Elder abuse in America has become a real problem that many people probably don't appreciate. Sadly, thousands of elderly citizens are abused in American every year in nursing homes, continuing care facilities and even in their own homes. Nearly one-third of the almost 17,000
in the U.S., according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, have been cited for
nursing home abuse
such as injuries, death and even elder sexual abuse cases. Nearly 1.6 million senior citizens call these facilities home. Too often instances of elder abuse never even get reported.
As older citizens become more physically frail, dependent or infirm they sometimes don't think as clearly as they used to. When this happens seniors are vulnerable to exploitation and are often unable to stand up for themselves or fight back. Elder abuse can occur when unscrupulous people knowingly take advantage of vulnerable seniors, or poorly trained care providers harm or neglect their patients out of frustration or indifference sometimes because of disabilities that are challenging for care givers to deal with.
Elder abuse in Oregon, as in other states, continues to be a growing problem partly because nursing homes and other care facilities have suffered budget cuts, have lost some percentage of funding, do not observe good hiring practices, fail to perform effective background checks, and simply fail to properly train employees to perform the unique and challenging job duties required in caring for seniors.
Nursing home abuse statistics and crimes against elderly persons are expected to rise as the increase of residents entering long term care facilities is expected to grow to about 5 million by the year 2040. In addition to physical neglect or violence, or sexual abuse, seniors are often victims of financial exploitation as well.
If you have a loved one residing in a nursing home or similar care facility be vigilant for warning signs, listen to complaints about poor treatment from your loved one, and if you suspect elder abuse, take action to stop it.
Some warning signs to look for can include the following.
- Unsanitary or unclean conditions, bedsores or pressure ulcers, poor hygiene and unusual weight loss are possible indicators of physical abuse or mistreatment.
- Dehydration and or malnutrition may be a sign that your loved one is being neglected by care givers.
- Unexplained cuts or abrasions and bruises may be a sign of physical abuse.
- Unexplained falls or broken bones could also be an indication of nursing home violence.
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
- Unexplained changes in your loved one's financial situation.
Other proactive steps you can take to reduce the chances your loved one will suffer abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- Try to be in frequent contact with your loved one to know when something is out of the ordinary.
- Learn about the qualifications of the care givers at your elder family member's nursing home residence.
- Interact with caregivers on a regular basis and send the message that you are a concerned family member who is alert to your loved one's condition.
- Research the care facility or nursing home you and your elder loved one are considering. You can get information in Oregon from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 1(800) 522-2602.
Take Action to Stop Nursing Home Abuse
- First, if your elder loved one has been harmed get the appropriate medical care immediately. Call 911 if necessary to get the elder victim to a medical facility that will provide the medical care needed.
Contact the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Senior Division to report the abuse by calling (503) 945-5811. Also check their website for additional information,
- Then contact an Oregon elder abuse lawyer at Angel Law PC to ensure the bad acting nursing home is held accountable.
Two additional internet resources that have more information concerning the protection of valued senior citizens are:
The National Council on Ageing
Elder Justice Now