Hidalgo County Highlights Elder Abuse Awareness Month Amidst Rising Cases

Hidalgo County raises awareness about elder abuse as cases rise, emphasizing the importance of protecting the elderly population

Hidalgo County Highlights Elder Abuse Awareness Month Amidst Rising Cases

June is National Elderly Abuse Awareness Month, and the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s office is emphasizing the importance of taking care of the elderly population. In 2023, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services recorded nearly 69,000 cases of elderly abuse in the state, with almost 3,300 of those cases reported in the Rio Grande Valley, and 1,900 from Hidalgo County alone.

Last week, District Attorney Terry Palacios issued a proclamation recognizing June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month. “Basically, awareness is very important in every type of crime, especially when we have the most vulnerable, which is our elderly. A lot of times they don’t have the resources to get help,” Palacios stated.

He continued, “You know, a lot of these elders are veterans or can’t drive anymore. So we got to be watching out for them. We do have a few cases here pending in our DA’s office, which we pay special attention to because we got to protect their older.”

A study by the state’s Health and Human Services department indicates that elder abuse includes neglect, affecting one in ten people aged 60 and older. Romeo Rodriguez, Chief of the Hidalgo Police Department, commented, “We are trying to make sure that, like any other age group, they still get what they need, their protection, and everything else. We observe and see a lot of things through our jobs that a lot of people don’t get to hear about.”

Types of senior abuse include emotional, physical, financial, and even sexual violence. Common signs of abuse are sudden mood changes, weight loss, and bruises. If you notice any of these signs in senior citizens living in facilities, contact the Texas Department of State Health Services at (800) 458-9858. For any other cases, reach out to your local authorities.

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Hidalgo County Highlights Elder Abuse Awareness Month Amidst Rising Cases