New state law seeks to end abuse of the elderly

By: Amy Lipman Email
By: Amy Lipman Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) --- A new Colorado law is looking to put a stop to abuse of senior citizens.

"We have a responsibility to make sure that as our senior’s age, when they become more vulnerable that we have the right resources at the right time to help them age with grace," said Reggie Bicha of the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Colorado was previously one of three states that did not require professionals who work with those above the age of 70 to report suspected cases of abuse.

The law covers a range of cases from physical abuse to financial exploitation.

"Folks who have saved their entire life to care for themselves and their families as they get older, to have a family member, a neighbor, a friend come in and take advantage of those resources and exploit them," Bicha said. "We need to stop that."

The law, which goes into effect July 2014, will give counties more resources to better train those who work with senior citizens.

It also will attempt to reduce the ratio of professionals to elderly people from 50 to 1, which law supporters say is one of the state's highest, to 25 to 1.

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