Elder abuse occurs when someone causes harm to an older adult. Elder abuse may be:
Financial abuse is when someone tries to take advantage of a vulnerable person to achieve financial benefit. These cases often involve person who are in a position of trust and confidence, including friends, family, agents under powers of attorney, personal representatives, conservators, and trustees. Common examples include:
Stealing money or valuable assets.
Changing payable on death provisions governing bank and brokerage accounts.
Changing beneficiary designations on life insurance policies.
Forging signatures, including deeds to convey real estate.
Misuse of powers of attorney.
Self-dealing and conflicts of interests by a fiduciary
Forcing or exercising undue influence to convince older adults to sign legal documents, such as deeds, wills, trusts and bank documents.
Negligently managing or investing money.
Physical abuse occurs when a person causes physical harm to an older adult. If may be intentional conduct, such as hitting, restraining, or sexual abuse. It may also be the result of negligence, such as a failure to protect and care for a person, resulting in physical harm.
We have seen many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect, including:
The negligent administration of medications
Neglect, resulting in bed sores and other physicals injuries.
The failure to supervise and protect patients with dementia or other
conditions from physical harm to themselves and others.
Inadequate or incompetent staffing
Failure to provide adequate or appropriate hydration and nourishment
The negligent failure to protect patients form falls.
Emotional abuse can come in many forms. Some of the most common examples of emotional abuse involve humiliation, shame, intimidation, and isolation of the vulnerable person from friends and family.
Colorado law provides special protections for crimes against victims aged 70 and older. These include criminal negligence, assault, robbery, theft, caretaker neglect, sexual assault, and exploitation.
“Exploitation” is defined as means an act or omission that: (a) Uses deception, harassment, intimidation, or undue influence to permanently or temporarily deprive an at-risk adult of the use, benefit, or possession of anything of value; or (b) Employs the services of a third party for the profit or advantage of the person or another person to the detriment of the at-risk adult; or (c) Forces, compels, coerces, or entices an at risk adult to perform services for the profit or advantage of the person or another person against the will of the at-risk adult; or (d) Misuses the property of an at-risk adult in a manner that adversely affects the at-risk adult's ability to receive health care or health care benefits or to pay bills for basic needs or obligations (C.R.S. 26-3.1-101(4)).
“At-Risk Adult” is defined as, an individual eighteen years of age or older who is susceptible to mistreatment or self-neglect because the individual is unable to perform or obtain services necessary for his or her health, safety, or welfare, or lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his or her person or affairs (C.R.S. 26-3.1-101(1.5)).
“At-Risk Elder” means any person who is seventy years of age or older or any person who is eighteen years of age or older and is a person with a disability as said term is defined in subsection (11) of this section.
(2.5) “At-risk adult with IDD” means a person who is eighteen years of age or older and is a person with an intellectual and developmental disability, as defined in section 25.5–10–202(26)(a), C.R.S. (3)
“At-risk person” means an at-risk adult, an at-risk adult with IDD, an at-risk elder, or an at-risk juvenile (C.R.S. 18- 6.5-102(2, 2.5, 3. 4.5)). “Elder abuse” occurs when someone causes harm to an older adult
If you suspect elder abuse or neglect, you should consult with an attorney immediately. In cases where there is an immediate risk of harm, you should contact:
Adult Protective Services:
Hotline: (720) 944-2994
Office: (720) 944-3666
As a public service, Keith Lapuyade frequently speaks to groups about Scams that target the elderly and other vulnerable persons. Please call if your group or organization would like to schedule a presentation. You can reach Keith at Keith@evanscase.com.
Evans Case is a full-service Denver Law Firm. With more than 110 years of collective experience we are relentless and compassionate advocates for our clients. The deep legal experience and wisdom of our senior attorneys combined with fresh thinking of younger associates ensure the best possible results in each case. Our attorneys understand that the best outcomes are built on thorough understanding, compassion, and respect.