Elder Abuse Awareness Task Force

Congressman Ruben Hinojosa announced an Elder Abuse Awareness Task Force.

It's the first of its kind in the Valley to help protect seniors from being exploited and mistreated.

According to Ann Cortez, the Regional Director of Adult Protective Services, the majority of elderly abuse and scams occur at home.

"They are often in their homes, and they're the ones that answer the door when somebody comes to the door, and they are definitely an easy target," said Cortez.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, in May alone, there were over 400 elder abuse cases in Hidalgo and Cameron County.

"We're hopeful that together we can come up with some strategies, some new initiatives in the next coming months, so that we can have better protection for our senior citizens," said Solomon Torres, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa District Director.

The task force includes representatives from federal, state and local agencies.

Norma Cuellar said she prefers to spend time at an adult day care center to develop a network of people she can trust.

She said she's also learning how to take precautions.

"We're not supposed to give our social security numbers, pin numbers to credit cards and stuff like that," she said.

To report elder abuse, neglect or financial exploitation, you can call the elder abuse hotline any time of the day at 1-800-252-5400.