Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May declared Elder Abuse Prevention Month in county

May has been declared Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Angelina County.

At Tuesday’s Angelina County Commissioner’s Court, a proclamation was read and subsequently approved that declared May 2018 to be Elder Abuse Prevention Month in the county. Commissioner of Pct. 2 Kenneth Timmons read the proclamation in Judge Wes Suiter’s absence.

Suiter drafted the proclamation following a request from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Adult Protective Services department.

During the meeting, it was noted Texas APS caseworkers investigated 465 intakes in Angelina County in 2017. Of those, 242 were confirmed cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation against elderly individuals.

“Elder abuse is grossly underreported because the elderly who are being abused find it very difficult to tell anyone and are usually ashamed and sometimes afraid,” Timmons said while reading the proclamation. “Elder abuse happens to men and women of all income levels, all cultural and ethnic groups, whether they are in good health or incapacitated in some way, in poor neighborhoods and in suburbia. ... Many of the cases investigated by APS in Texas involve self-neglect, and it is our duty as citizens to reach out to people in need.”

In the request for the proclamation, APS reported it received 114,305 cases statewide in 2017. Of those, 84,712 were investigated and 52,314 were confirmed cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation of elderly or adults with disabling conditions.

According to the Texas DFPS website, Elder Abuse Prevention Month is a statewide initiative.

“It’s a good reminder for all Texans to look out for and to help those in our communities who are elderly or have disabilities,” the DFPS website states. “After all, it’s everyone’s business to stop adult abuse, neglect and exploitation.”

Signs of abuse in elderly or people with disabilities can include various injuries. Harm is not the only type of abuse, however, and confinement, sexual assault or misconduct, and verbal or psychological abuse also are factors of elderly abuse. Neglect can include starvation, dehydration, over- or under-medication, unsanitary living conditions or a lack of personal hygiene. The DFPS website states neglected adults may not have basic needs in their housing. Exploitation of an elder can result in a loss of property, money or income.

“Exploitation means misusing the resources of an elderly or disabled person for personal or monetary benefit,” the DFPS website states. “This includes taking Social Security or SSI (Supplemental Security Income) checks, misusing a joint checking account, or taking property and other resources.”

A number of events are to be held around the state to help raise awareness of elder abuse, and the DFPS website cites the upcoming MayFest Senior Expo on May 17 at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is open to the public and will be hosted by the Area Agency on Aging and APS. For more information, contact Donna Sprouse at (409) 384-5704.

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May declared Elder Abuse Prevention Month in county

1 comment:

Susan said...

How many of the reported cases involved a guardian? I wish that statistic were part of the story.