Wednesday, June 12, 2024

County proclaims June Elder Abuse Awareness Month

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The Hood County Commissioners Court designated the month of June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month during a regularly scheduled meeting May 28.

According to the proclamation, abuse of older adults and people with disabilities is a community concern, affecting thousands of people across Texas. In fact, there were 120,069 reports of elder abuse and people with disabilities in Texas last year.

Stacey Butler, a specialist with Adult Protective Services, told the court national research has shown that as many as one in 10 older Americans are abused and neglected each year.

“Adult Protective Services is a state agency that investigates abuse and neglect, financial exploitation of the elderly and substantially impaired. We provide resources or intervention to prevent maltreatment,” she said during the meeting. “Our older adults are vital contributing members of our society, and everyone deserves the right to live free from abuse with dignity and respect.”

Adult abuse affects men and women of all income and ability levels and all cultural and ethnic backgrounds in all communities. Abuse against older adults and people with disabilities is also grossly underreported because of social stigma, embarrassment and fear.

“Elder Abuse Awareness Month reminds us that elder abuse has implications for all of us and it is important to find the right solutions,” Butler said. “Therefore, it is imperative that we continue to raise awareness and take steps to prevent it in our communities.”

As elder abuse is “everyone’s business,” according to the proclamation, the Hood County Commissioners Court proclaimed the month of June Elder Abuse Awareness Month. Additionally, the court urges all residents to work together to reduce abuse and neglect of older adults and people with disabilities.

“On behalf of our program, I would like to thank our community partners, stakeholders, first responders, judicial partners, local government and the commissioners for their continued support in helping APS carry out its mission — which is to protect older adults and people with disabilities,” Butler added.

To report abuse, neglect or exploitation, call the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.