Gov. John Hickenlooper today reminded Coloradans that, effective July 1, certain professional groups will be required to report suspected elder abuse, neglect and/or financial exploitation of individuals age 70 and older.
"We are protecting our elderly citizens who have been instrumental to the success of our great state for decades," Hickenlooper said. "It is now our turn to do whatever we can to help ensure vulnerable seniors in our communities live healthy, safe lives."
Professional groups that are now required to report suspected abuse, neglect or financial exploitation include doctors, dentists, nurses, home health providers, emergency responders, clergy and financial institution staff, to name just a few (see attached fact sheet for the complete list of mandatory reporters).
On July 1, Colorado becomes the 48th state to require mandatory reporting of elder abuse and exploitation.
Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 13-111 into law in May 2013. The law allowed one year for training of mandatory reporters to identify and report suspected abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. To date, more than 2,000 individuals who will become mandatory reporters have been trained on their new responsibilities.
In 2013, Adult Protective Services caseworkers across Colorado responded to 11,539 reports of suspected abuse or neglect of at-risk adults. With the new mandatory reporting law, this number is expected to grow by 10 to 15 percent in the first year.