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DFPS Press Release

"Elder Abuse & Neglect is Everyone's Business"

Prevention campaign urges Texans to get involved to stop self-neglect

Patrick Crimmins
(512) 438-3112-Office
(512) 787-5090-Cell

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed May as Elder Abuse Prevention Month. It's a good reminder that we all have a responsibility to look out for those in our community who are elderly or have disabilities and protect them from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

“Abuse and exploitation are big problems but the most common situations we investigate involve people who are neglecting themselves. Often, people with disabilities or who are elderly become ill or depressed and either can no longer care for themselves or stop trying. That's when we all need to step in to help," said Beth Engelking, DFPS assistant commissioner for Adult Protective Services (APS).  "Protecting vulnerable adults is everyone’s business."

Throughout May, APS and many community, civic, and professional groups are holding conferences, giving presentations, and participating in many other events to raise awareness and understanding of adult abuse, neglect, and exploitation.  

You can learn about more events in your area at and share them with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Last year, APS completed 87,741 investigations and confirmed that 58,068 people living at home were victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Self-neglect was at least one factor for 91 percent of those victims. Half of the victims were elderly and half were people with disabilities.

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

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. This 30-page resource in English and Spanish, plus other resources, are available at There you will also find a documentary on a case of self-neglect and a public service announcement on elder abuse to view and share.

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 18 to 64 with a disabling condition.
  • There are almost 2.6 million Texas residents who are 65 or older and more than two million people with a disability (ages 18-64).
  • More information is available in the Department of Family and Protective Services' 2012 Annual Report and Data Book on the DFPS website.
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