Until 2013, Colorado was one of just three states without an elder abuse reporting law on the books. Fortunately, that changed on May 16, 2013 when state lawmakers signed a bill requiring a variety of care providers to report senior abuse.
What the Elder Abuse Reporting Law Says
Under Senate Bill 13-111, doctors, nurses, nursing home workers, home health care providers, social workers, law enforcement, and other “mandatory reporters” as defined by statute must report the abuse or neglect of any person over 70 years old within 24 hours of witnessing the abuse or neglect. Failure to report abuse or neglect comes with harsh penalties that include up to six months in jail and fines up to $750.
The elder abuse reporting law encompasses a variety of abuse and neglect, including:
- Physical harm
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Caretaker neglect
Because it makes a wide range of caretakers accountable for reporting abuse, the law will hopefully reduce instances of senior abuse and neglect.
Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse
Placing a loved one in a nursing home or other facility is frequently an emotional decision. If you have a parent or other loved one in a long-term care facility, rehab center, hospital, or other institution, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse and neglect. Watch for:
- Foul odors
- Broken bones
- Frequent infections
- Repeated falls
- Unnecessary restraints
- Depression, listlessness
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Bed sores
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Isolation from others
- Sudden weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Confusion, dementia
These are just a handful of the possible signs that can point to senior abuse and neglect. Family members can protect their loved ones by visiting often, encouraging communication, and speaking frequently with caregivers. If you suspect something is wrong, investigate immediately.
Colorado Personal Injury Lawyers
If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s important to speak to a Colorado personal injury attorney right away. The attorneys at the Klibaner Law Firm can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call the office today at (303) 863-1445 to speak to an attorney about your case.
This website has been prepared by Klibaner Law Firm for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.