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Adult Protection & Elder Abuse

Every year, thousands of adults are victimized by loved ones, people in positions of trust and strangers. In Colorado, more than 11,000 reports of adult abuse, exploitation, or neglect are received each year. This includes older adults, the elderly and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Sadly, many go unreported. 

Our Adult Protective Services team investigates reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of at-risk adults and implements services to reduce and prevent further mistreatment.

But we need help from our community to look out for adults and elders who are at risk of being abused or who have fallen prey to abusers. You can help. Speak up and report suspected abuse by calling 720-944-2994.

As of July 1, 2014, certain professionals must report physical abuse, sexual abuse, caretaker neglect, and exploitation of at-risk elders and as of July 1, 2016, these same professionals and some new groups of professionals are required to also report mistreatment of At-Risk Adults with an Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD)

For more information on Mandatory Reporting requirements in Colorado, please visit the Colorado Department of Human Services website.

Signs of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation

Sometimes family dynamics factor into the reason for abuse, which might include financial difficulties, substance abuse or mental illness. These reasons do not excuse the mistreatment that is occurring in our aging population. Usually, the victim is:

  • Afraid to speak up
  • Worried about retaliation
  • Embarrassed

  • Multiple bruising, not consistent with a fall
  • Black eyes, slap marks, kick marks, grasp marks, and finger tip bruising
  • Burns
  • Fractures not consistent with falls
  • Stench of urine or feces
  • Signs of malnutrition or over-feeding
  • Administration of inappropriate drugs
  • Fearful for life or not wanting to get abuser in trouble

  • Lack of basic care
  • Abandonment or isolation
  • Not providing proper food or fluids
  • Failure to provide proper health care
  • Lack of personal care
  • Inappropriate dress
  • Being left to sit in urine/feces
  • Absence of mobility aids causing restrictive movement
  • Absence of necessary medication or medical equipment
  • Improper fitting or damaged dentures

  • Stolen cash or missing pension book
  • Cashed benefit/pension that is not given to beneficiary
  • Telling someone something cost more than it did
  • Person is made appointee or Power of Attorney and this person withholds money for the elder
  • Withholding money so a person is unable to afford necessities
  • Persuading or forcing a person to transfer money, bank accounts, property, assets, and financial affairs to another person
  • Not allowing a person to be admitted to residential care because a person doesn’t want it to impact their inheritance 


Report Elder Abuse or Abuse of an Intellectually or Developmentally Disabled Adult:

Call 720-944-2994

Useful Phone Numbers

Child Abuse Hotline
Statewide: 1-844-CO-4-Kids (264-5437)
or in Denver: 720-944-3000
Adult Protection Hotline
DHS Customer Service


Colorado Relay/TDD

Child Support Services

Foster Care

GIVE Denver
720-944-GIVE (4483)

Denver City & County Information