Oregon elder abuse claims growing

Financial exploitation is the most prevalent form of elder abuse in Oregon.

A comprehensive study just released by the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigation found that most financial exploitation cases involved a family member, or a caregiver. Many of the victims were elderly persons living alone.

“Not only is this type of abuse common but it often goes hand-in-hand with other types of abuse such as neglect of care, verbal or emotional abuse.” – The OAAPI Financial Exploitation Data Book

Other persons who are considered vulnerable under the law – such as adults with developmental disabilities and nursing home residents – are more likely to experience neglect of care than financial exploitation. Annually, Adult Protective Services investigates over 10,000 claims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Elder abuse is on the rise nationally. It is unclear if a higher percentage of senior citizens are being abused, or if the abuse or neglect is more likely to be reported.

Oregon attorneys, legislators and medical care providers are now included in the list of mandatory reporters, meaning they are required to report elder abuse, due to legislation passed earlier this year. House Bill 2205 also created the Oregon Elder Abuse Work Group, which will be defining what constitutes abuse of a vulnerable person.

Read more in the Salem Statesman Journal