Reporting Abuse and Neglect

When you have taken on the responsibility of providing care for an elder family member who is no longer able to care for him or herself, there are many ways to provide that care.  In many cases, this will require hiring a caregiver, or placing the family member in a nursing facility.  Unfortunately, in some cases, the people hired to care for those loved ones may abuse or neglect the people that they were charged with caring for.  If you believe that your elder loved one is being neglected or abused by a caregiver, knowing what to do about it can be difficult.  Just remember, your loved one may not say anything, so if you don’t act, the situation may not get better.
It is very important that you remember that arranging for a caregiver or facility to tend to the needs of your loved one is only the beginning of your role in elder care.  You should educate yourself on what will happen with your family member and what they can expect from their caregivers, and what you can expect.  The more actively you continue to be involved, the more likely you are to be able to prevent abuse, but also the more likely you are to be able to help in the event that there is abuse.
Mandatory reporting of abuse, mistreatment, or self-neglect of elders, as of May 16, 2013, is now required in Colorado, for certain professionals and caregivers. Reports are made to a law enforcement agency not more than 24 hours after making the observation or discovery.  People who do report are immune for reports made in good faith.
Fortunately, there are resources that you can use to help you deal with this painful and difficult situation.  Here in Colorado, each county has an Office of Adult Protective Services (APS).  One of your first moves may be to contact the APS office for your county.  The Colorado Coalition for Elder Rights and Abuse Prevention (CCERAP) is a resource that you can use to find contact information for your county, as well as a wealth of other information about the rights of your elder loved ones, and how you can protect them.  While there are many resources that you can use to help protect your family, you may find that one of the best resources may be a Colorado elder abuse attorney.  An experienced elder abuse attorney can help you find your way to the resource that will best help you and your family.
Rhett Meyer is a colorado elder abuse lawyer who understands the rights of residents in care facilities, as well as the expectations that people with in-home care should have of their caregivers.  Rhett can help direct you to help for your loved one, and if necessary understands how to work with the legal system to pursue justice for your abused family member.  During their twilight years, we all want our loved ones to feel the dignity and respect that they deserve; Rhett can help you restore that sense of dignity and ensure that the abusive behavior of a caregiver or nursing facility staff does not create a financial burden for you.  For more information and a free consultation, call Rhett at the Meyer Law Firm today at (303)444-1618.
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