Archive for the ‘elder neglect’ Category

Communities Combating Elder Abuse Issues In Texas

July 26, 2013

Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) July 22, 2013 – Statewide, there were close to 60,000 victims of elder abuse, exploitation or neglect in 2012.

There are more than 2.4 million Texans age 65 and older. Investigations found that 40 percent of the individuals abusing, neglecting or financially exploiting the elderly were the victims’ adult children.

According to Ross Jackson, the regional director for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Region 7, many of the cases included neglectful self-care, elderly individuals who were locked inside and unable to get out, and bed-ridden elders who were not properly cared for. Elder abuse and neglect runs the gamut from overt physical abuse to general neglect, said Jackson.

There were at least 3,000 suspected cases of elder neglect or abuse in Travis County last year. After investigations were completed, almost 2,000 cases were confirmed. But the number of abuse cases in Williamson County are lower than average, in large part, Jackson says, because the number of higher-income households means more elderly people can afford to pay for outside care services, and because of the concerted community efforts of law enforcement and elder advocates.

“Elder abuse is widespread throughout the state, as well as the country, but generally varies by income level,” stated John Hale, a Dallas elder law attorney. “Communities with more funds include more funds for senior support and outreach.”

In Williamson County, there were a little more than 700 suspected cases of elder neglect or abuse. More than 540 of those cases were later confirmed, said officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Jackson applauds the anti-elder abuse efforts of the Williamson County law enforcement and government leaders.

The assistant commissioner for Adult Protective Services at DFPS, Beth Engelking, stated that the signs of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation should be recognizable to everyone so that they can report them. But more commonly, Engelking added, are situations where disabled or elderly individuals are not able to adequately care for themselves and need support.

Communities successfully combating  elder abuse issues typically put the same basic systems in place, including: developing a local Adult Protective Services group; publicizing services for the elderly and disabled such as meal delivery, transportation, pet and yard care; and encouraging neighbors to get to know each other, especially cross-generational neighbors, through annual block parties and other outreach efforts.

John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm.

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Communities Combating Elder Abuse Issues In Texas

One in Ten Elders is Abused or Neglected

June 28, 2013


Protecting the elderly

June 19, 2013
An elderly woman was living in a house so small she couldn’t use her walker to get around. An adult daughter checked on her daily. A quick visit, to make sure she had some food. Unable to reach a table, she was reduced to crawling and eating food while on the floor, Park recalled.

The woman also needed help going to the bathroom. So she was given two diapers each day, Park said.

The woman lost more than 20 pounds. “It’s just horrific,” the judge said. “That someone would treat (her) that way.”

The story didn’t have a bad ending.

An emergency court hearing took place. Adult Protective Services got involved and the woman was placed at a nursing home.

Roughly a year later, she died, Park said. But her quality of life had been vastly improved until then, she said.

That type of case is why Park and numerous agencies have teamed together to raise awareness of the issue of elderly care and neglect and abuse.

Agencies, attorneys, probate court, law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office and Adult Protective Services (part of the Stark County Department of Job and Family Services) also have worked together to respond to cases of neglect and abuse more efficiently and effectively.

The group, named the Stark Multidisciplinary Advocacy Protective Resources Team (SMART), is holding a seminar Friday on the topic. Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

It’s the third year for the event. Attorneys and those who work with the elderly will be attending the presentation, titled “Justice for All — Protecting the Elderly and Disabled: The Gray Zone of Incompetency and Incapacity.”

The registration deadline for the event has passed.


Susan Stroup, of Coleman Professional Services, says that public awareness is high for child neglect and abuse. The Stark County Department of Job and Family Services contracts with Coleman to investigate cases of elderly neglect and abuse.

But the issue of elderly abuse is sometimes forgotten, lost in the shadows, she said.

Full Article and Source:
Protecting the elderly