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Reports of Elder Abuse on the Rise

BEND, OR -- A recently released state report shows an increase in the number of suspected cases of abuse involving the elderly or disabled Oregonians. Rebecca Fetters with the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention tells KBND, "When we look at this year’s report, compared to the two prior years’ reports that we’ve done, we see a steady increase in the number of calls that we’re getting, the number of calls that are screened in for actual investigation. And, I think, given the rapidly growing 65 and older population, we’d expect that trend to continue." According to the report, state, county and local offices received more than 38,000 reports of possible abuse or neglect in 2014 – a 10% increase over the year before.

 

Fetters says, of the 609 allegations reported in Deschutes County, 146 were substantiated. However, she says those who report concerns are still helping some of the most vulnerable in our community. "Often times, when we go out, even if we don’t find the original allegation is substantiated by abuse, there are other needs or other issues that we can offer some solutions to. So, I would never want someone to not report because the think ‘oh, it won’t be substantiated,’ or, ‘I’m not 100% sure this is happening.’"

 

She says, "In terms of reporting, you don’t need to know with certainty that something is happening. You just need to see a red flag or have a suspicion. Or, perhaps it’s just your gut and you want someone to go check it out. And, we would rather do that and find out that everything is fine than to not hear about it at all."Fetters expects the trend to continue as our population continues to age. 

 

Click HERE to view the state's full report.

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