Elder experts tell NewsChannel 10 that senior citizens can be easy targets for attack, but there are ways to make them less vulnerable.
One assault victim's family says that her attacker offered to mow her lawn and then made his way into her home after requesting a glass of water.
Safety experts tell us that kind of courtesy is a habit the elderly should break.
Andy Crocker studies senior citizens with Texas A&M University. He says that when it comes to safety, people like the recently beaten 88-year-old grandmother, should not be afraid to be rude: "In this instance I think she knew the person because he had done some work around her house and things like that, but there should have been no reason for him to come into her home."
We're told courtesy is what landed Darla Diaz's grandmother in the hospital after an attacker broke into her home and left her unconscious. "Tell him through the locked door where the water hose could be found in the backyard, you know, get the water from the faucet outside," suggests Crocker.
He adds one long distance way to protect your grandparents is to keep a phone book from their area on hand so in case of emergency, they'll know who to call.
After being flown to Lubbock for special surgery, we're told the woman can do little more than move slightly at Plum Creek Specialty Hospital. "It caused her to have a stroke. You can tell that just by her facial [expression] and the CAT scan that they did showed there is a little bit of bleeding on the brain," says Diaz.
Crocker says that avoiding danger means staying in touch with neighbors and people you trust in town: "You need to establish those networks yourself. Take the initiative and find someone, and even if you're just calling them once a day to say I'm all right, that's really good for older adults to keep in mind."
For more information on how to help keep your elderly loved one safe, see the links and information below.