Who are at-risk adults?
At-risk adults are persons age 18 and older who are unable to provide or obtain services necessary for their health, safety, and welfare OR who lack the capacity to make or understand responsible decisions. To make a report of suspected mistreatment or self-neglect of an at-risk adult, call the Adult Protective Services (APS)intake number for the county department of human services where the at-risk adult lives.
Adult Protective Services (APS) investigates allegations of physical and sexual abuse, caretaker neglect, exploitation, and harmful acts (collectively referred to as "mistreatment") and self-neglect of at-risk adults. APS offers protective services to improve the health, safety, and welfare of at-risk adult experiencing mistreatment or self-neglect. APS uses community-based services and resources, health care services, family and friends when appropriate, and other support systems.
Making a report of mistreatment or self-neglect
It's OK to report if you just suspect something is wrong. As long as you make the report in good faith, you are immune from any criminal charges or a civil lawsuit for damages. If you knowingly make a false report it is a class 3 misdemeanor and if you are charged and convicted, you could receive a fine of up to $750, six months in jail, or both.
Have as much information as possible about the at-risk adult, the alleged perpetrator, and what is concerning you. At a minimum, Adult Protective Services will need the following information:
- Name and address of the at-risk adult
- A description of the alleged mistreatment and the situation
- The nature and extent of any injury
- Identity of the alleged perpetrator, name and address if possible
The following information is also helpful:
- When you last saw the adult
- Any medical or physical conditions that impair the adult's ability to provide for day-to-day needs
- Any problems with memory, decision making, or understanding how to care for him/herself
- Any developmental, intellectual, or cognitive disability that is impairing the ability for self-care
- Any decline in the adult's ability to adequately do cooking, shopping, using available transportation, managing medications, or mobility
- Whether there are service providers or family members already working to address the adult's needs
- Any other information that you feel is relevant
After the county Adult Protective Services program receives a report of mistreatment or self-neglect, they determine the need for an investigation. If the county determines that the report involves an at-risk adult and mistreatment or self-neglect, they will initiate an investigation.
For more information about Adult Protective Services please visit ColoradoAPS.com.
Contact the Colorado APS Office at email@example.com with further questions. Do not report mistreatment and self-neglect to firstname.lastname@example.org, doing so could result in a delayed response and does not meet your obligation under the law.
Certain professionals are required by law to report mistreatment of at-risk elders and at-risk adults with intellectual and development disabilities to law enforcement. To determine if you are a mandatory reporter and get additional information about your requirements under the law, please visit ColoradoAPS.com.