The Oregon Department of Human Services released its first report tracking abuse of the elderly and adults with physical disabilities. A snapshot of the findings for 2010:
Totals: More than 27,000 reports received, 11,998 investigated, 2,608 confirmed victims.
Place of abuse: 85 percent of victims were abused in their homes; 15 percent in state-licensed care settings, such as nursing homes.
The victims: Women were nearly twice as likely to be reported victims as males; elderly more often than disabled adults.
The abusers: In care settings, the direct caregiver was the most common abuser. At home, it was relatives.
Financial abuse: More than 850 cases of financial exploitation were confirmed.
Other abuse: Investigators confirmed 1,619 cases of neglect, 411 reports of physical abuse and 32 cases of sexual abuse.
Toughening the law: Two bills in the 2012 Legislature would create a new category of assault for "intentionally or knowingly causing physical injury to elderly person."
It is clear that many people are being bullied, pressured and abused by family members, friends, care-givers, etc. Sadly many people are willing to take advantage of vulnerable people.
It is also clear that assisted suicide can become the ultimate form of elder abuse.