Every year, thousands of older and at-risk adults are victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, while others struggle to care for themselves.
With the support of community members like you, we help adults age 18 and older stay safe and well by investigating reports of abuse and neglect. We collaborate with the Denver Police Department, Denver City Attorney’s Office, and Denver’s District Attorney’s Office to evaluate and intervene when needed to protect adults in our community.
If you believe someone in Denver is a victim of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation, call us at 720-944-4DHS (4347).
If you have any concerns about the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an older adult or an adult with an intellectual or developmental disability, please call 720-944-4DHS (4347). The hotline is available 24/7. Every call is handled with the utmost care and consideration, and the caller’s information is kept confidential. Your call could make a real difference in someone’s life.
After you make a report, a team of skilled social caseworkers evaluates the information. If your report indicates potential abuse, neglect, or exploitation, a caseworker will collaborate with our partner agencies to investigate and offer help (if the at-risk adult consents to services).
Adults who are considered "at-risk" can include:
In Colorado, mistreatment includes neglect and acts that threaten the health, safety or welfare of an at-risk adult or expose the adult to imminent risk of death or serious injury. Mistreatment includes self-neglect, caregiver neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and exploitation.
Signs of abuse may include:
Neglect occurs when an adult’s caretaker fails to provide adequate, timely food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, or supervision. It is also considered neglect if the caretaker fails to provide these services with the degree of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would use. Neglect can include:
Exploitation means taking an at-risk adult’s money or other assets against their will or without their knowledge or consent. In other words, it is stealing from the adult. It also means deceiving, harassing, intimidating, or exerting undue influence to get the adult to do something against his or her will.
Examples of financial exploitation may include:
Self-neglect is the most commonly reported concern regarding at-risk adults. Self-neglect occurs when at-risk adults can’t or don’t care for themselves. The reasons can range from lifestyle choices, the onset of sensory or medical impairments, or a partial or total loss of decision-making capacity as determined by their medical provider.
Colorado legally requires many service professionals to report suspected elder abuse of persons 70 or older. These mandated professionals are also required to report mistreatment of at-risk adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In Denver, these reporters must call the Denver Police Department at 720-912-2000 within 24 hours of observing or discovering the abuse or neglect.
See more information on mandatory reporting requirements in Colorado and who qualifies as a mandatory reporter.
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Other supports and services for those with disabilities
Call Colorado Crisis Services (1-844-493-8255) to talk about mental health, substance abuse, or emotional help for yourself or someone you know
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If you need Colorado Relay/TTY services in Denver, please call 711. If you need Spanish-language relay services, please call 800-337-3242.
Outside Denver: 720-913-1311
TTY Service: 720-913-8479