Elderly Abuse Awareness - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Elderly Abuse Awareness

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Adult Protective Services assists elderly in need in Wichita County

The month of May is Elderly Abuse Prevention Month.

“I've been praying everyday to get out of there as quick as I can. It's pretty bad,” said Barbara Slagle, a resident in Wichita Falls.

Barbara Slagle and her husband have lived in ever green trailer park for 10 years in a mobile home that was falling apart.

Conditions Slagle described as unlivable, “no lights, refrigerator was bad, didn't work.”

Barbara and her husband were long neglected with no assistance from loved ones and no one to help them along the way. 

Their story is like many other elderly people in Texas who are abused, neglected or exploited.

In 2013, Adult Protective Services investigated 69,383 and close to 48, 392 were victims.

Christy Skelton, a social worker at A.P.S. said this year alone they have investigated more than 900 cases in Wichita County with the majority of them being self-neglect.

“There are several forms of neglect. One of them is physical neglect and that’s the person actually abusing themselves,” said Skelton.

Skelton said many elderly are not able to provide for themselves...most set on fixed incomes...battling health complications and sometimes mental illnesses.

A.P.S. says assists the elderly or disabled with needed services, but Skelton said they cannot assist those in need without citizens’ help.

“Without our community calling us we don’t know who to go out in the community that needs our assistance,” said Skelton.

Barbara said prior to A.P.S. stepping in she and her husband who is deaf and blind would have to walk 20 minutes over a bridge to the nearest Wal-Mart.  Now they live just a few hundred feet away.

"It's a lot closer, more convenient to Wal-Mart,” said Slagle.

Barbara said she and her husband gave up hope, but through A.P.S. assistance she said they made it through.

Links:

http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/everyonesbusiness/ 

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6