Report Abuse of an At-Risk Adult

To make a report of suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, and 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. 

APS offers protective services to prevent, reduce, or eliminate the current or potential risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and self-neglect to the at-risk adult using community-based services and resources, health care services, family and friends when appropriate, and other support systems.

How to make a report of abuse

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.  

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?

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.

What happens after you make a report

After county human services departments receive reports of abuse, neglect, exploitation, and self-neglect of at-risk adults, they determine the need for an investigation or assessment. If the county determines that the report involves an at-risk adult and abuse, neglect, exploitation, and self-neglect, they will initiate further investigation.
 
For more information about Adult Protective Services and mandatory reporting, please visit ColoradoAPS.com. 

Contact the Colorado APS Office at cdhs_aps_questions@state.co.us with further questions.