Agency investigates thousands of elder abuse cases

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Every year the department of family protective services investigates thousands of abuse claims of elderly people.

Last year alone, officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services say there were more than fifty thousand in the state who suffered abuse, neglect or financial exploitation.

According to Adult Protective Specialist Stephanie Barclay, some of those claims were from the Brazos Valley.

"This time of year it's mainly they need help with air conditioning or their electric bill is too high and they can't pay it,” said Barclay.

Other times Barclay is called to a home because family members or caregivers are exploiting the elder financially.

"A lot of times they don't want to talk about it,” she said. “They will say 'but it's my daughter or my grandchild' but it is not ok that's your money that you worked all your life for."

Wednesday KBTX was invited along as Barclay followed up with a Bryan resident, Lloyd Harris whose case deals with concerns about his food.

Harris had major concerns about a large leak under his kitchen sink and fridge that’s been working on and off for several weeks.

While the agency will try to find a way to help with the repairs, Barclay says Mr. Harris' concerns are not uncommon and every day there is an elderly person being taken advantage of or neglected.

"It's sad because these people have worked all of their lives to save the money and now someone has come in and taken everything they have worked for,” she said.

The law requires anyone who suspects adult abuse or neglect to report it to the Texas abuse hotline at (1-800) 252-5400.

You can learn how to recognize the signs by logging on to everyonesbusiness.org