Monday, January 30, 2012

Colorado Advocates Push For Mandatory Reporting Law for Elder Abuse

American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging reports that Colorado is currently one of only four states without a mandatory reporting law for elder abuse for social workers, physicians and other care occupations. Advocates for the elderly have been working to pass a law that would require social workers, physicians and others to report suspected abuse of at-risk adults. Over the last thirteen years, multiple mandatory-reporting bills have been sent to legislative committees, where the bills languish. One bill made it to the Governor’s desk in 2005, but then Governor Bill Owens vetoed the bill. Advocates of mandatory reporting plan to introduce another bill on this issue in the 2012 legislative season. Many in the elder care community are in favor of such a law, but are cautious when it comes to the consequences. Dora-Lee Larson, executive director of the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, said she supports the law, as long as it is accompanied by funding so caseworkers have the resources to meet expanded need.