Elderly Abuse Awareness

It is elderly abuse awareness month and Adult Protective Services said some of Texoma's elderly have a hard time providing for their everyday basic necessities.

Adult Protective Services officials said there were over 3,500 physical neglect cases in the North Texas community last year. They say that today the need continues.

Christy Skelton, Supervisor with APS, said, "Of course with the economy right now we're starting to see an increase in physical abuse cases. It's utility bills and we always see a need out there for ramps to help people get in and out of their homes."

The agency looks at a number of issues in each situation, but the majority of their cases fall under physical neglect. Skelton said sometimes it is because that elderly or disabled person is embarrassed to ask for help.

"A person can self neglect themselves and a lot of times we find that person is just unable to provide those services for themselves anymore." Skelton added, "Whether it be bathing or just daily grooming that you do, they need the assistance."

That is when APS officials can step in and help people in need. "The elderly and disabled have trouble with heat and a lot of medical conditions that cause them to get ill. We can replace their air conditioners." Skelton added, "If there's holes in the floor of their home, we can get that fixed too."

APS officials said if you have elderly people living in your neighborhood and notice mail piling up outside the home, lawns going un-mowed, or if that elderly person starts isolating themselves,
those are all signs that might indicate APS needs to be contacted.

Adult Protective Services says state law requires anyone who suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation to report it to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6