Seniors are among the most vulnerable groups in society. Some elderly persons in Colorado suffer from some form of dementia leaving them open to many areas of abuse. Luckily, there are rules in place to combat elder abuse thanks to laws in the state, but it is important for seniors, their loved ones and their caregivers to know and to understand the signs of occurring abuse.
Spotting the signs of abuse
Physical abuse is the easiest to spot on an elderly person. There may be bruises, cuts or even fractures. Physical abuse can include hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, beating, sexual impropriety, etc. Elders might be locked up, tied up or confined to a chair for too long. Elders can also face financial abuse and emotional or mental abuse. Elders who are being taken advantage of financially often have no idea this is happening. Those who are subjected to emotional or mental abuse may show signs of emotional distress, depression or anxiety.
Elder abuse statistics in Colorado
According to the Colorado Department of Health, elders are at increased risk of abuse if they:
- Have dementia
- Are physically or mentally frail
- Have developmental disabilities
- Have a brain injury
- Have behavioral disorders
- Have a mental illness
Statistics have shown that 42% of elder abuse cases happened to adults between the ages of 70-79, while 44% were between the ages of 80-89 and 12% were between the ages of 90-104. The decline after 90 is due to the age exceeding the average lifespan.
There are a number of resources in Colorado to help older adults and their families who have been victims of elder abuse. If there is uncertainty as to what to do in the case of alleged abuse, talking to an attorney experienced in elder law is absolutely vital. If elder abuse is reported quickly, it can be halted before extremely harming a senior.