Taking Care of Our Neighbors—Young and Old!

Commissioner Dianne Edmondson

Here at Robson Ranch, we are a diverse, thriving community predominantly comprised of seniors who frequently enjoy visits from our young grandchildren. Our culture recognizes that taking care of our elders and young children is of utmost importance—especially in a world as busy and tumultuous as ours is today. Understanding this, your Denton County Court recently officially declared June as Elder and Child Abuse Month to bring community awareness of these issues.

Individuals who are elderly or have disabilities contribute to the general welfare of Denton County by helping to preserve customs, convictions, and traditions of many people from diverse backgrounds. These residents are vital, integral members of our society, and their wisdom and experience have enriched our lives. But they are not always treated with the respect and care that they deserve. Abuse of the elderly and people with disabilities in domestic and institutional settings is a widespread problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of people across the country.

Right here in Denton County, Texas Adult Protective Services in-home caseworkers received 945 cases of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation against our elderly Texans or those with disabilities, which were investigated in 2021. Elder abuse is grossly underreported, because the elderly who are being abused find it very difficult to tell anyone, are usually ashamed, and sometimes even afraid. Elder abuse happens to men and women of all income levels, all cultural and ethnic groups, whether they are in good health or incapacitated in some way, in poor neighborhoods, and even in our more affluent communities.

Many cases investigated by Adult Protective Services in Texas involve self-neglect, and it is important that we reach out to people in need to ensure they utilize the necessary resources available to them. One of the ways that we can help is through Meals on Wheels, which provides nutritional meals to homebound elderly or disabled persons here in Denton County. Trained volunteers deliver meals on Mondays through Fridays, mid-morning until about noon. If you’d like to be a part of this caring organization, please call 940-382-2224 to learn more and perhaps volunteer.

It is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to ensure our elders live the remainder of their lives free from abuse and self-neglect so they may live healthy, happy lives and impart their years of wisdom to the generations who follow.

There are also several non-profits that help children who are abused or neglected. One of them is CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) who advocate for such children. These trained and supported volunteers build a strong, consistent relationship with each child and his/her family, help promote community resources, and make informed recommendations to the court overseeing that child’s future. The advocate speaks for the child and amplifies that child’s voice during time in foster care. If you would like to learn more about becoming a CASA volunteer, from being a one-time special event volunteer to the year-long advocate commitment, please call 940-243-2272.

And should you see something and need to say something regarding either elder or child abuse, call 1-800-252-6400.

If you would like to receive her e-newsletter, which will contain updates on area road projects, please contact Commissioner Edmondson at [email protected]. You may phone her at 972-434-3960 or visit her office in the Southwest Courthouse, 6200 Canyon Falls Drive, Suite 900.