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

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) works to protect the unprotected, and that includes the elderly members of our communities. May is Elder Abuse Prevention Month in Texas, and it’s the perfect time to check on elderly friends and neighbors.

Do you have an elderly neighbor who can no longer keep up their home, isn’t taking care of his or herself, or needs medical care? You may be the only person who knows or cares.

“Abuse may get the headlines, but one of the most common situations we encounter is self-neglect,” said Kez Wold, DFPS associate commissioner for Adult Protective Services (APS). “Sometimes when people become ill or depressed, they quit trying or simply can’t care for themselves without some help. That’s when someone needs to make a call to the Texas Abuse Hotline.”

State law requires anyone who suspects adult abuse, neglect or financial exploitation to report it to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 or online at TxAbuseHotline.org. Callers can remain anonymous. Learn how to recognize adult abuse, neglect and exploitation at EveryonesBusiness.org

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

Last year, APS investigated the situations of 83,534 people who were living at home and found that 51,608 of them suffered one or more forms of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Self-neglect was at least one factor for most of those people. APS’ job is to investigate these situations and connect people with the services in their communities they need.  

 Adult Protective Services Facts and Figures

  • APS is a program of DFPS and a part of the Texas Health and Human Services system. The mission of APS 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 mistreatment.
  • APS serves Texas residents who are 65 years or older or who are 18 to 64 and have a disability. There are 3.3 million Texas residents who are 65 or older and more than 1.7 million people with a disability who are ages 18-64.
  • More information is available in the Department of Family and Protective Services Annual Report and Data Book on the DFPS website (dfps.state.tx.us).