We entrust our elderly loved ones with professionals in assisted living and skilled nursing in hopes that they will follow through with their promises of adequate staffing, care, and supervision. The laws in Colorado are designed to protect our at-risk population precisely because elderly persons are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect. However, the signs of abuse and neglect are not always apparent. Below are the legal definitions of abuse and neglect as outlined in Colorado regulations which may help identify what to look for and when to contact an elder abuse and neglect attorney.
The definition of neglect of an at-risk adult (any adult over the age of seventy) is relatively broad by design. The regulations define “caretaker neglect” as neglect that occurs when adequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, habilitation, supervision or any other service necessary for the health or safety of an at-risk person is not secured for that person or is not provided by a caretaker in a timely manner with the degree of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would exercise, or a caretaker knowingly uses harassment, undue influence or intimidation to create a hostile or fearful environment for an at-risk person.
“Abuse” is defined as the non-accidental infliction of bodily injury, serious bodily injury or death; confinement or restraint that is unreasonable under generally accepted caretaking standards; or the subjection to sexual conduct or contact that is classified as a crime.
Assisted living residences and nursing homes are required to report suspected abuse, exploitation and/or caretaker neglect to law enforcement within 24 hours of observation or discovery. Assisted living and nursing homes must investigate reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation, and notify the legal representative of the allegation within 24 hours. If the neglect or abuse is verified, then the assisted living residence or nursing home are required to take appropriate corrective action.
Civil lawsuits may be brought against assisted living residences and nursing homes for committing or allowing elder neglect and abuse. Contact Hailey | Hart PLLC to schedule a free consultation with our elder abuse attorneys. We are here to help.