Report Abuse of Adults with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

How to Report Abuse of an At-Risk Adult with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)

If you are a mandatory reporter and become aware that an at-risk older adult or at-risk adult with IDD has been or is at imminent risk for mistreatment (abuse, caretaker neglect or exploitation), you must make a report to law enforcement where the person resides within 24 hours. Click here for a list of Colorado law enforcement agencies. Call your local law enforcement agency's main telephone number or dispatch number to make a report. If there is an emergency situation -- where there's imminent risk to the at-risk elder or at-risk adult with IDD -- call 911.

It’s okay 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. You are not immune if you are the perpetrator of the mistreatment.  

If you knowingly make a false report or willfully fail to make a report of mistreatment, it is a class 3 misdemeanor.  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 older adult or at-risk adult with IDD, the alleged perpetrator, and what is concerning you.  At a minimum, law enforcement will need the following information:

  • Name and address of the at-risk person
  • A description of the alleged mistreatment and the situation (What did you observe?)
  • The nature and extent of any injury
  • Identity of the alleged perpetrator; name and address if possible
  • Any other information that you feel is relevant

The following information is also helpful to give law enforcement and/or APS:

  • What prompted the call today?  Did something happen?
  • How is the adult being mistreated?  When did you last see the adult?
  • Does the adult have any medical or physical conditions that impair the adult's ability to provide for day-to-day needs?
  • Does the adult have a diagnosed mental illness or show signs of a mental illness?
  • Does the adult have any problems with memory, decision making, or understanding how to care for him/herself?
  • Does the adult have any developmental, intellectual, or cognitive disability that is impairing the ability for self-care?
  • Has there been any decline in the adult's ability to adequately do cooking, shopping, using available transportation, managing medications, or mobility?
  • Is the adult working with any service providers to address his/her needs?  Any friends or family that are supportive?
  • Have any actions been taken yet that address your concerns?
  • Can you think of anyone else who might have additional information?

For more information, contact