While many people in Oregon do acknowledge that elder abuse does happen, what most do not realize are just how extreme of a problem it is. Contrary to what some may think, elder abuse is not a problem exclusive to public care facilities. It can also happen at home by a person’s own family member or trusted caretaker. Because the elderly are already vulnerable and often not able to effectively communicate their needs, elder abuse often goes unnoticed until it is too late. 

A study that was conducted on nearly 37,000 emergency room claims across the nation where 35,000 Medicare recipients had been treated for various reasons. A follow-up report showed that a shocking 31,000 Medicare claims had shown some type of abuse that was actively supported by medical records. This startling statistic demonstrates just how serious elder abuse is in both home and public health care settings in the United States. 

Families of elderly patients should encourage them to call 911 if they are in immediate danger, and they should encourage them to be forthright about their experiences if they are able to communicate. Likewise, families visiting their loved ones should be vigilant in watching for signs of abuse. These signs can include social isolation, suspicious injuries or markings on their body or significantly worsening health with unexplained reasons. 

If people have been the victims of elder abuse, they may wish to turn to an attorney for help. Legal professionals have the experience to provide support while helping the victim to establish a case that supports their eligibility for compensation. 

Source: MarketWatch, “Elder abuse is frighteningly common – at home and in nursing facilities,” Alessandra Malito, Jun. 15, 2019