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Hidalgo County Commissioners Court approved a proclamation declaring May 2014 as Elder Abuse Prevention Month. People who are elderly or have disabilities have contributed to the general welfare of this County by helping to preserve customs, convictions, and traditions of many people from diverse backgrounds. These residents are vital and integral members of our society and their wisdom and experience have enriched out lives. Abuse of the elderly and people with disabilities in domestic and institutional settings is a wide-spread problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the country. In 2013, there were 98,130 completed cases of elderly and disabled persons abuse in Texas, of which 59,210 were confirmed. Elder abuse is grossly unreported because the elderly who are being abused find it very difficult to tell anyone and are usually ashamed and sometimes afraid. 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 Adult Protection Services in Texas involve self-neglect and it is our duty as citizens to reach out to people in need.
Gustavo Salinas, Adult Protection Services (APS) Community Initiatives Specialists was present in support of the Proclamation. Salinas thanked Commissioners Court for their support and asked the residents of Hidalgo County to be aware of the well being of its elderly citizens. Also present in support of the proclamation was Belinda Cantu, APS Specialst IV.
Hidalgo County Commissioners Court urges all citizens to work together to help reduce abuse and neglect of people who are elderly or have disabilities.