Adult Protective Services urges Texans to get involved to stop self-neglect

DFPS Media Specialists

Thursday, May 1, 2014

AUSTIN - May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month. It’s a good reminder for all Texans to look out for and to help those in our communities who are elderly or have disabilities.  After all, it’s everyone’s business to stop adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

“I think that a lot of people may not realize that one of the most common situations APS encounters is adults who are neglecting themselves,” said Beth Engelking, DFPS assistant commissioner for Adult Protective Services. “When people with disabilities or the elderly become ill or depressed, sometimes they can no longer care for themselves. Sometimes they quit trying. That's when others need to step in.”

APS is joining with many community, civic, and professional groups during May to raise awareness and understanding about adult abuse and neglect through conferences, presentations, and other events.
Learn about more events in your area at, and please share them with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Last year, APS completed 69,383 investigations involving people living at home and found that 48,392 of them were victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Self-neglect was at least one factor for most of those victims.

“APS’ job in self-neglect situations is to connect victims with services that can help them meet their basic needs,” said Engelking.

Often, APS clients are victims of more than one type of abuse or neglect.  Learn more about how to recognize adult abuse, neglect or exploitation at

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

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 harm.
  • APS serves Texas residents who are 65 years or older or who are 18 to 64 and have a disability.
  • There are 2.9 million Texas residents who are 65 or older and more than 1.7 million people with a disability (ages 18-64).