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Elder abuse prevention

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse takes different forms. It can include:
  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Sexual, financial, verbal or emotional abuse
  • Involuntary seclusion or wrongful restraint
  • Abandonment by a caregiver
Abuse can occur in a long-term care facility, a home or anywhere in the community.

Self-neglect is when people cannot care for themselves and threaten their own health or safety. Learn about warning signs of abuse and self-neglect.

How do I report suspected elder abuse?

Get help now — Report suspected cases of abuse.

If you suspect elder abuse, immediately contact your DHS or Area Agency on Aging office. You may also report abuse to DHS at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). In an emergency, call 911.

Adult Protective Services

Specialized DHS staff investigate abuse and provide protection as needed. Protective services staff coordinate with law enforcement to investigate potential criminal abuse cases.

Protective services may include:
  • Immediately arranging to protect an adult
  • Assessing how well an adult can protect his or her own interest and give consent
  • Assessing how well the adult can understand protective services and whether he or she will accept them
  • Coordinating evaluations to determine or verify the adult's physical and mental state, if necessary
  • Helping arrange services and alternate living arrangements
  • Assisting in or arranging the medical, legal or other services to prevent further abuse
  • Providing advocacy to assure the adult's rights are protected
Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO)

The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) can also provide help to resolve elder abuse complaints. Ombudsmen advocate for residents of Oregon nursing homes, assisted living facilities, residential care facilities and adult foster homes. They help residents deal with quality of care and life issues. They may also help prevent abuse or neglect.

Learn more

Abuse prevention tools

These Oregon-based tools may help protect an individual from physical, emotional or financial abuse.

Oregon Scam Alert Network The Oregon Department of Justice’s Scam Alert Network sends emails and twitter alerts about scams and fraud. The DOJ website also connects to other consumer protection issues.

Legal and care planning tools Preparing an advance directive and/or a power of attorney may help. It’s also good to plan your long-term services and supports and your estate. Not all legal planning tools need an attorney.

Family caregiver resources Caring for family members may create stresses that can lead to abuse or neglect. This link will take you to the growing number of resources for family caregivers.

“Protect Yourself from Crime and Abuse” This chapter is part of the Oregon State Bar’s handbook “Legal Issues for Older Adults.” It can help you avoid being a target. It also includes ways to be more alert to problems.

Connect with your local ADRC.

ADRC of Oregon staff are available to help you explore your options to meet your current needs or create a plan for the future.

Connect now

Report suspected cases of abuse

If you suspect elder abuse, immediately contact your DHS or Area Agency on Aging office. You may also report abuse to DHS at 1-855-503-SAFE (7233). In an emergency, call 911.

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