We've previously discussed Oregon's aggressive efforts to prevent elder abuse. Unfortunately despite those efforts, reports of elder abuse have continued to increase dramatically over the last few years.
A recent study by the Oregon Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations indicates reports of elder abuse in Oregon have risen nearly 33 percent over the last few years, to about 2,900 reports per year. Of those reports, the overwhelming majority involves financial exploitation of seniors.
This increase in reports indicates the problem is more widespread than we originally thought. While the problem is not isolated to Oregon, nearly 500,000 Oregonians are either disabled, or above the age of 65, putting us at particular risk for this kind of exploitation. Especially troubling is the fact that of those reported instances, many of the claims are never substantiated, and as a result those wrongdoers are never held accountable.
An increase in elder abuse reporting is not all bad news though. The increase does indicate Oregonians are becoming more knowledgeable about our rights, and the rights of our loved ones. Armed with that knowledge, more and more people are reporting this abuse, which is the first step toward bringing perpetrators to justice.
Even as Oregon's elder abuse statutes evolve, our problem appears more prevalent than ever. If you think you or a loved one is being taken advantage of, an elder financial abuse attorney can help you understand you and your family's rights, and help to bring a wrongdoer to justice.