It’s been said before, but getting old “isn’t for sissies.” Age has a way of making even the halest and heartiest of people vulnerable.

Unfortunately, long term care facilities aren’t always the most well-maintained and residents can easily be subjected to abuse and neglect. That’s why the Oregon Long-Term Care Ombudsman has sent out the call for volunteers.

Certified volunteers serve a critical role in preventing nursing home neglect

Every year, Oregon has more than 1,000 incidents of elder abuse in long term care settings — and that’s only the incidents that make it into the official records.

Certified volunteers help police long term care facilities to spot signs of neglect and abuse as early as possible. Given that many long term care residents have little in the way of family (and some cannot even speak for themselves), the volunteers are an integral part of the system that’s designed to protect the aged.

Unfortunately, the state Ombudsman’s office only has 48% of the volunteers they need to be effective. If you’re interested in volunteering, you’re encouraged to submit an application. If approved, you’ll be given the training you need to advocate for someone who cannot advocate for themselves.

Nursing home neglect and abuse is never acceptable

If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to take action. If your loved one has been mistreated in a long term care facility and suffered serious injuries or died as a result, talk to an attorney about your legal options.