Monday, January 14, 2008

Family's 'nightmare' Elder Abuse increases 80% !

by Jessica The Oregonian On Aging - Bernie Wilson's story of suffering is one of a growing number of elder abuse cases in Oregon Saturday, January 12, 2008JESSICA BRUDER The Oregonian Staff

By the time Bernie Wilson's children wrested their 86-year-old father from his caregivers in 2005, he weighed 111 pounds and "looked like a skeleton from a concentration camp."

The caregivers had moved Wilson from his Lake Oswego home without telling his family and stuffed him into the back of a doublewide in Welches. The retired Tektronix manager who'd taken up long-distance cycling in his 70s was now dirty and hungry, with sunken eyes. His $660,000 life savings was gone.

In 2006, Bernie Wilson died, one of a growing number of Oregonians haunted by neglect and abuse in their final years. Between 2002 and 2005, statewide reports of elder abuse in domestic settings increased 80 percent, from 3,056 to 5,489, according to the Oregon Department of Human Services. Experts expect the trend to continue as the elderly population grows.

"While the wheels of justice turned slowly, you and your husband were able to dominate the thinking of an elderly, confused man," Wilson's daughter, Melody Miller, 63, of Fairview, said in a voice that trembled. "You were even able to rob my dad of his dignity and his ability to pay his own way, but you did not destroy love."

To complicate matters, the most common perpetrators of elder abuse aren't outside caretakers but the victims' own children.

Some victims are too mentally or physically incapacitated to seek help. Others are paralyzed by "a sense of disbelief";

Abridged =>>

No comments: