Monday, August 24, 2015

Neighbors Concerned about Elderly Man’s Safety

MCALLEN - Residents in a McAllen neighborhood are concerned for an elderly man’s safety. They say he lives alone and often wanders around the neighborhood confused.

The older man has been emptying mailboxes in the neighborhood.

“He got into at least four mailboxes today that we know of,” said Stephanie Contreras, a resident. “Taking the mail… is not a pleasant thing for us to experience, but that's not the important thing. We're terrified that we live too close to major roads. He could get into the road and get run over.”

Contreras said the man stealing the mail isn’t doing so maliciously. When confronted, he is usually confused.

“There are at least five different families in the neighborhood who have been attempting to get help for this gentleman,” Contreras said. “We know that he probably has dementia or Alzheimer’s.”

Neighbors worry about the man, not only because he wanders the streets, but they also say his home isn’t kept clean inside. They fear he cannot take care of himself.

“He is very, very thin,” Contreras said. “We feel he is not eating on a regular basis.”

Contreras said she and other neighbors have called McAllen police and Adult Protective Services to try and get him help.

APS told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that they couldn’t confirm if they have a case open on this man, due to privacy laws. They said neighbors were correct to report their suspicions.

“When a report is received, an APS worker is going to go into the field,” said John Lennan from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. “They're going to assess the client, make a determination to see if abuse, neglect or exploitation is going on.”

Last year, APS completed 2,408 investigations into potential abuse, neglect or exploitation of disabled or elderly people in Hidalgo County. In the South Texas Region, 1,020 cases of medical neglect were reported.

Contreras said she believes her neighbor’s medical treatment is being unmet. She said she hopes he gets the help he needs, not only for her mail’s sake, but for his own safety.

APS said they can take different actions if they find a person who needs help. They can reconnect the person to their family or put them in touch with local non-profits or doctors they need.

Anyone who has suspicions of abuse, neglect or exploitation of the disabled or elderly is encouraged to report it. APS can be contacted by phone at 1-800-252-5400 or on the web at

For emergency situations call 911.

Full Article & Source:
Neighbors Concerned about Elderly Man’s Safety


StandUp said...

Wonder what APS did in this case though....

Denny said...

I think if I hadn't heard that APS refers many of these cases to court for guardianship, I'd have called APS too.