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The original item was published from 5/9/2016 9:51:12 AM to 5/11/2017 12:05:05 AM.

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Posted on: May 11, 2016

[ARCHIVED] COMMISSIONERS COURT PROCLAIMS MAY AS ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH

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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.

The elderly and people with disabilities have contributed to the general welfare of this community 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 our lives.

"I'd like to take the time to thank the Judge and Commissioners for helping us augment and increase awareness for what we do," said Community Engagement Specialist of Adult Protective Services Gustavo Salinas. "We operate through a hotline, 1-800-252-5400, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with both English- and Spanish-speaking live operators. We need to hear from the community in order for us to go out and see where and how we can help the neglected and abused elderly."

In 2015, there were 78,180 completed cases of elderly and disabled persons abuse in Texas, of which 54,552 were confirmed. Elder abuse is grossly under-reported because the elderly find it difficult to tell anyone and are ashamed and sometimes afraid, Salinas said. The 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 Protective Services in Texas involve self-neglect and it is our duty as citizens to reach out to people in need.

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