Senate Committee Moves Elder Abuse Bill Forward
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Colorado State Senate Judiciary committee passed a bill today that would make it mandatory to report the abuse of elders.
If the bill passes through the entire state Senate, certain individuals would be required to report to law enforcement whenever they suspect abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation of any elder 70 or older.
Colorado is only one of three states that does not enforce the mandatory reporting of elder mistreatment.
"With Colorado's aging population steadily increasing, we must work to ensure that our citizens have the protections that elders in 47 other states have," said Senator Hudak.
Eugene Geurink, manager of The Atrium retirement center, says it's time for Colorado to pass this bill.
"We need to get on board with the rest of the country and do the right thing for our seniors," said Geurink.
Mandatory reporters under this bill include the following: health care providers, judicial and law enforcement, probate professionals, behavioral health professionals, social workers, clergy, firefighters, personnel of financial institutions, staff of community-centered boards, and staff and volunteers at health care facilities.
A leading study says that for every reported case of elder abuse, there are about five cases that are not reported.
The state population of elders age 70 and up is expected to grow by 27% by 2017 and 142% by 2032.