Articles Posted in Elder Abuse

A California nursing home has been ordered to pay the largest fines allowed under state law following the death of a patient. For us here in Oregon this nursing home neglect and abuse case, though it comes from out-of-state, serves as a powerful reminder of the important role courts and regulators play in keeping watch over those charged with helping vulnerable seniors.

According to a report in the Orange County Register the case stems from the death of 93-year-old Donald Bodkin, who, the paper reports, “died in September from an undetected ruptured intestinal ulcer and infection.” Bodkin was not a long-time resident of the home but, rather, had checked in only a few weeks earlier for a temporary stay while recovering from hip surgery.

The paper reports that the state believes the home did not assess Bodkin’s condition properly, failed to tell his doctor once the symptoms became obvious and ignored warnings from both family members and an occupational therapist “that he was lethargic and in pain.” The nursing home has expressed regret for Bodkin’s death but said in a statement that it does not believe the actions of any of its staff “caused or contributed to this unfortunate event.”

With recent statistical reports demonstrating that elder abuse is a rising problem here in the United States, media reports here in Oregon indicate that officials at the state Department of Human Services fear our state may have become part of this disturbing trend.

According to a recent article published in The Daily Astorian, “national studies estimate 3 to 5 million seniors, aged 65 and older, have experienced abuse – but only 1 in 5 cases are reported.” Adult Protective Services agents are asking family members to keep an eye out for signs of trouble, particularly as we enter the holiday season.

Elder Abuse can take many forms, and need not be physical in nature. As an information page at the Oregon Department of Human Services’ website (see link below) outlines, Oregon elder abuse can take many forms. These may involve Oregon medical malpractice or nursing home neglect, but can also include financial exploitation or psychological and emotional trauma.

50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email:
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