APS campaign says stopping abuse is everyone's business

DFPS Media Specialists

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

AUSTIN - Texas Governor Rick Perry proclaimed May as Elder Abuse Prevention Month. During this special time, Adult Protective Services (APS) is reminding Texans that it's everyone's business to prevent abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of those who are elderly or have disabilities.

APS' "Everyone's Business" campaign is an ongoing grass-roots effort that brings together many community, civic, and professional groups to focus attention and resources on elder abuse prevention. The campaign includes conferences, presentations, and other events throughout the month of May to raise awareness and understanding of adult abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation

Learn about more events in your area at EveryonesBusiness.org and please share them with your friends, neighbors, congregations, and co-workers.

"Everyone needs to know how to recognize the signs of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation and to report them when you see them," said Beth Engelking, assistant commissioner for APS at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Service (DFPS). "We also need community resources to help the people who are older or who have disabilities when they can no longer help themselves," she added.

Last year, APS completed 87,487 investigations of people living at home and confirmed 59,595 victims of abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. The most common threads are self-neglect (people who cannot or will not meet their own basic needs) and adult children who abuse or take advantage of their own parents.  APS referred 5,826 of the cases it completed last year to law enforcement.

APS also investigated 10,803 allegations in institutions like state hospitals and state supported living centers and confirmed abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation in 1,259 of those cases. The results of 3,091 of those investigations were forwarded to law enforcement for further review.

State law requires anyone who suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation to report it to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at www.TxAbuseHotline.org.

Learn the signs of elder abuse. APS urges civic groups, hospitals, home-health agencies, libraries, congregations, or anyone interested in protecting the elderly to download and share the Adult Abuse Prevention Kit and other resources on EveryonesBusiness.org.

More APS Facts and Figures

  • Adult Protective Services (APS) is a division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). APS' mission is to protect adults who are elderly or have disabilities from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. APS does this by investigating allegations and by providing or arranging for services to alleviate or prevent further maltreatment.
  • APS serves Texas residents 65 years or older, and those ages 18 to 64 with a disabling condition.
  • There are more than 2.8 million Texas residents who are 65 or older and almost 1.7 million people with a disability (ages 18-64).
  • More information is available in the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services' 2012 Annual and Data Book on the DFPS website.