EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Senior citizens across Texas are among the most vulnerable to fall victim to neglect, abuse and financial exploitation.

Several workshops are making their way across the RGV to raise awareness to help put an end to the ongoing issue.

These workshops are free and open to the public.

Speakers presented different topics which can help others identify the signs of financial exploitation and much more.

“Workshops of this nature are geared towards awareness,” Ann Cortez, District Director of the Department of Texas Adult Protective Services said.

Opening a trust, the importance of a power attorney, and guardianship were just some of the many topics discussed in making sure no one falls victim to financial exploitation.

“It’s helpful for me to help them be their own advocates,” Annette Rios-Barrera, hospice caregiver said.

Rios-Barrera works closely with hospice patients and has to help guide residents with important decisions.

She says information sessions like these are key.

“It is a lot of pressure for them when they don’t know what to do so information that is given like this by Silver Ribbon for us who work in the community with actual patients who need this kind of information is really crucial for us to educate and provide that information,” Rios-Barrera said.

“There are resources out there for individuals who have been exploited or are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” Cortez said.

The workshop is in partnership with Silver Ribbon Community Partners who say abuse, neglect and financial exploitation can come from the ones you trust the most like loved ones.

“I’m here to educate the community about what is needed because the more education we can do the simpler it’s going to be for folks the less stressful the less expensive in the long run it’s going to cost,” attorney Sharon Almaguer said.

Speakers say the key thing to do is to always have a plan.

“It’s so easy for people to try and go on the internet or go to a notary and get things done and you know sometimes it works out fine but when it doesn’t work out fine we find out afterwards it’s not working out fine and it becomes a costly mess,” Almaguer said.

The workshop will have another stop in Cameron County and another near the Coastal Bend.