HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in ten people ages 60 and older experience some sort of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Behavioral indicators of abuse are fear, anxiety, and disorientation. Other red flags consist of unexplained injuries, lack of necessities and unsanitary living conditions.
Martha Sanchez, a licensed professional counselor for the Family Crisis Center said they receive calls regarding abuse on a daily basis.
The Family Crisis Center has two location sites, one in Harlingen and Raymondville. Both centers cater to Cameron and Willacy counties by providing resources such as counseling services, legal advocacy, and an emergency shelter.
“Anyone that meets the criteria either for domestic violence or sexual assault can come into our shelter, of course, it all depends on availability; everything is completely confidential and so we’ll go ahead and listen to what their needs are and what the situation is and then based on that we offer them various choices and options that they can choose to take or not,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said the center is required to report abuse cases to Texas Adult and Protective Services (APS).
Gustavo Salinas who represents APS said everyone should be an advocate for one another.
“Many times people think well it’s none of my business, we at APS say it’s everyone’s business because you can be the voice for that individual that has no voice or doesn’t know where to turn,” said Salinas.
Salinas encourages those who suspect abuse to report through the 800-252-5400 hotline number or online at www.txabusehotline.org.
All calls with the hotline number are free and confidential. Within 24 hours of receiving the report, APS initiates the contact and proceeds to investigate how to properly help the situation.