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Understanding and Combating Elder Abuse: The Elder Justice Program by H-GAC

In our community, we prioritize the safety and well-being of all residents, including our senior citizens and vulnerable adults. Recognizing the increasing concern of elder abuse, a serious issue nationwide, the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) has initiated the Elder Justice and Vulnerable Adult Justice Program. This important program provides essential support to those affected by elder abuse and aids law enforcement and legal professionals in their work to safeguard our senior community members.


The Reality of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse manifests in various forms, each equally devastating:

  • Physical Abuse: Inflicting pain or injury
  • Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact
  • Emotional Abuse: Verbal assaults, threats, intimidation
  • Financial Abuse: Misuse of funds or property
  • Neglect: Failure to provide necessary care, whether intentional or not


    Recognizing the Signs

    Detecting elder abuse can be challenging, as signs are often subtle or mistaken for symptoms of aging or illness. However, some indicators to be mindful of include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression or confusion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Signs of trauma (e.g., rocking back and forth)
  • Agitation or unusual violence
  • Withdrawal from usual activities
  • Unexplained bruises, burns, or scars
  • Bed sores or other preventable conditions


    Alarming Facts

  • 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and over have experienced some form of elder abuse.
  • In 60% of elder neglect incidents, a family member is the perpetrator.
  • Elders who have been abused face a 300% higher risk of death compared to those not mistreated.
  • Victims of elder abuse are four times more likely to be admitted into a nursing home.
  • Physical abuse of elders leads to an estimated $5.3 billion in annual direct medical costs.


Support and Assistance

The Elder Justice Program does more than just raise awareness; it actively provides advocacy, referrals, and direct legal assistance to victims. If you or someone you know is in need of help, do not hesitate to reach out. You can contact the Elder Justice Program at 346-500-4620 or via email at All communications are strictly confidential.

For more information visit the H-GAC website