AUSTIN (KXAN) - Austin tops many ‘best-of' lists and the Brookings Institution reports the Texas capital has also been tops in the nation for the number of so called pre-seniors moving to the metro area. That's according to 2000 and 2010 census data.
"Either we moved here in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s to go to UT and we never left, or we're retiring here because it's a great place to live," said the Angela Atwood, CEO of Family Eldercare .
Atwood said those 55-64 year olds are tomorrow's elderly. And in too many cases, will be ripe for exploitation and neglect.
"And it's heartbreaking," she said. "The truth is it happens frequently."
Atwood pointed out nationally, only one in five seniors who is abused will report it. Those who don't fear losing contact with whatever family they have, or are too ashamed to ask for help.
Those most often targeted by family or people calling themselves friends are seniors who isolate themselves and may also be living with a disability that could impair their judgment.
In the recent Houston case where several elderly men were found in what police call deplorable conditions in the garage of a home, it appears no one was around to protect them from an alleged predator who was after their government assistance checks.
Seniors advocates like Atwood urge younger neighbors to break the pattern of isolation.
"Be brave, introduce yourself, say you're there to help," she said. "They can probably help you in some way."
Atwood said that way, aging adults on your street or down the block will have a fighting chance at more dignified golden years filled with comfort and human contact.
"My biggest fear is that there are people who are experiencing this (abuse and neglect) right now in different ways and we don't know where they are or who they are," she said.
2010 Census data found in the Great Austin Metro Area that takes in Round Rock, 8 percent of the population was older than 65. That was 138,736 individuals.
By 2040, more than half a million adults 65+ will in the five-county area. Then, they will make up 18 percent of the population.
Family Eldercare is one charitable agency that offers safe financial management help for them.
It is authorized by the Social Security and Veterans Administration to receive the benefits of someone who doesn't have the mental capacity to manage that money, Atwood said.
The Texas Department of Family Protective Services keeps track every year of the number of validated abuse investigations involving adults with disabilities. In 2012, its Adult Protective Services Division looked into the following number of cases by Central Texas County:
- Travis County - 1,695
- Williamson County - 544
- Bastrop County - 171
- Hays County - 120
- Caldwell County - 99
The Austin City Council will take up billing errors and problems with the appeals process at Austin Energy during Thursday's meeting.
The judge presiding over the trial to oust District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg ruled Wednesday that she'll stay in office.
Mack Brown’s longtime friend and attorney said Wednesday that the veteran coach of the Longhorns has not yet made a decision on his future, but that it will come soon.
County commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the buyout of 23 homes in the Timber Creek neighborhood.
The sign-language interpreter on stage at Nelson Mandela's globally broadcast memorial service was a faker who was waving his arms around meaninglessly, advocates for the deaf said Wednesday.
Willie Nelson's nine-hole golf course in Briarcliff is up for sale and the asking price is $3 million, according to a local real estate website.