June 15, 2011, has been designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), and it is the sixth year of the event, which was launched by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. The purpose of the day is to give communities across the globe an opportunity to raise awareness of elder abuse and neglect.
Every year, thousands of elderly people are abused, exploited, and neglected, no matter their social status or ethnicity. Sadly, the Administration on Aging reports that only about one in five crimes of elder abuse are ever discovered.
There are several different forms of elder abuse, including the following:
- Physical abuse; which results in injury, impairment, or pain
- Emotional abuse, which can be intimidating, threatening, menacing, or ignoring an elderly person
- Sexual abuse
- Neglect, which occurs when a caregiver fails to fulfill their obligation to the senior citizen
- Financial exploitation
- Healthcare fraud and abuse, such as overcharging and overmedicating/undermedicating
It is important for all Oregon residents to be familiar with the signs of elder abuse and neglect to protect their loved one from suffering further. An elderly person who is suffering abuse at a nursing home facility may exhibit some of the following behaviors: unexplained bruises or cuts; significant change in demeanor; seems fearful; reports chronic, yet vague complaints, particularly of pain; repeatedly has “accidental” injuries; shows signs of depression; appears isolated; and suffers from bedsores.
If you suspect your loved one has been abused, exploited, and/or neglected at a nursing home or assisted care facility in Oregon, the Portland personal injury lawyers at Shulman DuBois LLC advise you to contact Adult Protective Services by calling 1-800-232-3020. You can also contact the Senior Helpline & Elder Abuse Reporting Hotline for Multnomah, Washington & Clackamas Counties by calling 503-988-3646. However, if you believe your loved one is at imminent risk, call 911 or your local law enforcement immediately.