Portland Elder Abuse Attorney
As individuals age, many can become more vulnerable to various forms of abuse because of decreased mental capacity, relative physical weaknesses, less awareness of technology or the progressing world, among many other reasons. As the elderly population in the United States steadily grows, so does the potential for harmful elder abuse and the injuries and financial losses that result from such abuse.
Who Are The Abusers?
Portland is home to more than 70 nursing homes that house and assist hundreds of residents. When you make the often difficult decision to move your loved one into a nursing home, you likely try to choose the best possible environment for them to spend the last years of their lives. You should be able to trust they will be properly cared for and kept safe. The same is true when you select an in-home caretaker or assistant for your loved one, should that person be a professional caretaker, a friend, or a member of the family. Unfortunately, whether your loved one is in a nursing home or has a trusted caregiver at home, the risk for elder abuse exists. In fact, according to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), many incidents of elder abuse result from caregiver stress.
No matter whether elder abuse occurs by a caregiver, a nursing home staff member, or a complete stranger, your loved one deserves to be protected, to be safe, and to hold their abuser liable for their harmful actions. If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of any type of elder abuse, call experienced Portland elder abuse attorney Marc A. Johnston for help today.
Common Types Of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can–and does–happen in several different ways, including the following:
Physical abuse — Violence against elderly adults is especially dangerous because they often do not have the strength or capacity to fight back against abuse. Older adults may also be more prone to injuries even from a slight amount of force, and such injuries may escalate due to infections or other complications. Broken bones, bruises, cuts, and other physical injuries can have dire consequences for some elderly individuals.
Sexual abuse — Many older adults fall victim to unwanted sexual abuse or assault, from improper spying to touching to rape. Like physical abuse, many older people cannot fight back against an assailant and sexual assault can leave victims with serious physical injuries as well as venereal diseases and emotional trauma.
Emotional and psychological abuse — This form of elder abuse does not result in physical injuries necessarily, but can cause deep psychological and emotional scars. Emotional abuse can involve many different tactics including isolation, criticism, infliction of fear, humiliation, harassment, and more.
Neglect — Neglect is a caretaker’s failure to properly care for the elder as they are supposed to. This can include failing to provide proper water, food, or nutrition, necessary medical care or medication, a sanitary environment, assistance with hygiene, proper shelter and comfort, or any other vital necessity. Whether neglect is intentional or not, it can result in serious physical and psychological complications in an older adult.
Financial abuse — Another costly form of abuse is financial abuse, in which an abuser takes advantage of an elderly adult for their own financial gain. This can include physically stealing cash or valuables, wrongfully persuading the elder into giving them money or changing estate planning documents, using scams or fraudulent tactics to get money, and many other tactics to obtain money from an unsuspecting elder.
Recognize The Signs Of Elder Abuse
You should always watch for the many signs of elder abuse, including:
- Injuries with no explanation;
- Injuries in different stages of healing;
- Torn, bloodied, or soiled clothing or bedding;
- Signs of restraint on wrists or ankles;
- Social withdrawal, depression, or other changes in behavior;
- Fear of touch or of being near certain people;
- Weight loss or gain; or
- Any other odd physical or behavioral occurrences.
If you have noticed any of the above signs–or any other suspicious circumstances–and you suspect your loved one has been abused, you should contact an experienced elder abuse attorney as soon as you can for help. We can assist you in contacting the proper authorities, moving your loved one to a safe place, and in filing a legal claim to hold the abuser financially responsible for their actions and for your loved one’s losses and suffering.
Call A Portland Elder Abuse Lawyer For A Free Consultation Today
At the Johnston Law Firm, we are committed to protecting the rights of the elder population in and around Portland, Oregon. If you or your loved one sustained any type of injury or loss due to elder abuse, please call Portland elder abuse attorney Marc A. Johnston for a free consultation at 503-546-3167 as soon as possible.