As the temperatures continue to drop and the days grow colder the elderly and disabled are even more vulnerable. In Wichita Falls, Adult Protective Services is assisting hundreds of needy clients. Newschannel 6 crews sat down with APS and they tell us they are already seeing more cases on a weekly basis.
Christy Skelton Supervisor with Adult Protective Services tells us more health complications arise for the elderly once the colder temperatures drop. Skelton says they will also start to see an increase in unpaid bills because most of their clients cannot afford to keep heaters running.
Skelton comments, "We don't want any of the elderly or disabled population to go without anything they might need, in order to keep themselves safe within their homes."And staying safe during the winter months is very important for the elderly and disabled living alone.
"We're here to help when they do get in a bind. Affording what they afford with medications, food, and utilities, it's difficult."
Among the number of complications the cold weather can bring APS sees an increase in respiratory issues. That is because a lot of people who are on limited incomes will choose to go without heat just to save money for medications.
Home Instead Senior Care is also serving more clients already this season. Tiffany Oliver says the community needs to step up as well. Oliver adds they also look for signs of depression and anxiety during the holidays because a lot of elderly are alone.
APS depends on the community to call in cases. In any situation where the elderly or disabled person is in a state of neglect, APS needs to be contacted. They will also provide funding for clients.
If you are elderly or disabled or know of anyone who is, that might be struggling during the colder moths you can call Adult Protective Services for assistance.
Adult Protective Services Hotline : 1-800- 252-5400
You if are a resident and would like to make a donation to help the Red River Regional Resources Board you can contact them at (940) 235-1882. The Red River Regional Resources Board helps provide funding so that APS can pay bills for the elderly or disabled in need.
You can contact Home Instead Senior Care at (940) 322-4472. You can contact Area Agency on Aging at (940) 322-5281