Mandatory Reporting of Elder Abuse

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If you are a mandatory reporter and you witness or become aware that an at-risk elder has been or is at imminent risk for mistreatment (abuse, caretaker neglect, or exploitation), by law you must make a report to law enforcement within 24 hours. 

An at-risk elder is any person who is 70 years of age or older. This presentation on mandatory reporting clarifes:

  • What is mandatory reporting?
  • Who is required to report?
  • What situations must be reported and to whom?
  • How to make a report to APS and Law Enforcement?

Colorado’s laws establishing Mandatory Reporting of Abuse and Exploitation of At-Risk Elders became effective on JULY 1, 2014.  The two Acts mentioned above require certain professionals (and their staff and volunteers) to report elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Any mandatory reporter who OBSERVES the abuse, neglect or exploitation of a person who is 70 years of age or older (an “at-risk” elder) OR has reasonable cause to believe that an at-risk elder has been abused, neglected or financially exploited MUST report the abuse to police or local law enforcement within 24 hours after making the observation or discovery of abuse. The mandatory reporter who makes a report in good faith will be immune from civil or criminal liability.  However, willful failure to report OR filing a FALSE report can be prosecuted under the new law.

Mandatory reporters include: health care professionals, pharmacists, psychologists and mental health care providers, social workers, long-term care providers, care facility staff, home health providers, clergy members, law enforcement officials and personnel, court-appointed guardians and conservators and personnel of banks and other financial institutions.

To learn more, download the PDF of this presentation: Mandatory Reporting of Abuse of An At-Risk Elder and What your Agency Needs To Do.

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