Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition logo

Prevent the Abuse of At-Risk Adults and Elders

The El Paso County Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition was created to empower and educate our community, older adults and caregivers. Our main functions are to provide information on services, policies and trainings for preventing mistreatment of elders. Mistreatment of elders appears in many different forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, undue influence, sexual abuse or exploitation, financial exploitation, denial of critical care and self-neglect. Meetings are held the third Friday of each month at Silver Key Senior Services, located at 1625 S. Murray Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916. For more information please call Silver Key Senior Services at (719) 884-2349.

If you suspect mistreatment …

When making a report to law enforcement and Adult Protective Services, provide as much information as possible about the at-risk adult and the alleged perpetrator including:

The adult’s demographic information, such as name, gender, date of birth, or approximate age, address, current location if different from permanent address, and phone number;

  • Medical and/or disabling condition(s);
  • Contact information for friends, family, neighbors, or caregivers;
  • Specific concerns regarding the alleged mistreatment;
  • Safety concerns for the adult;
  • The alleged perpetrators information, such as name, gender, address, phone number and relationship to the at-risk adult, when mistreatment is alleged.

To make a report

Phone: (719) 444-5755
Fax: (719) 444-5780

(Monitored between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, closed holidays)

APS Referral Form

Mandatory Reporting Non-emergency Dispatch
Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD): 719-444-7000
El Paso Sheriff Office (EPSO): 719-390-5555

Mandatory Reporting

Mandatory reporters are required by law to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation (universally referred to as “mistreatment”) that is observed or that the reporter becomes aware of when that mistreatment is occurring to an at-risk elder or an at-risk adult with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD). An at-risk elder is any person 70 years of age or older.

For more on mandatory reporting, visit the Who Is a Mandatory Reporter page.

“Mistreatment” means any of the following acts or omissions committed against an at-risk person:

  • The non-accidental infliction of bodily injury, serious bodily injury, or death.
  • Confinement or restraint that is unreasonable under generally accepted care-taking standards.
  • Subjection to sexual conduct or contact classified as a crime.
  • “At-risk adult” means any person who is seventy years of age or older or any person who is eighteen years of age or older and is a person who is: impaired because of the loss of or permanent loss of use of a hand or foot or because of blindness or the permanent impairment of vision of both eyes to such a degree as to constitute virtual blindness; is unable to walk, see, hear, or speak; is unable to breathe without mechanical assistance; is a person with an intellectual and developmental disability: is a person with a mental illness; is mentally impaired; is blind; is receiving care and treatment for a developmental disability.
  • “At-risk adult with IDD” means a person who is eighteen years of age or older and is a person with an intellectual and developmental disability.
  • “At-risk elder” means any person who is seventy years of age or older.
  • “At-risk juvenile” means any person who is under the age of eighteen years and is a person with a disability.
  • “At-risk person” means an at-risk adult, an at-risk adult with IDD, an at-risk elder, or an at-risk juvenile.
  • “Caretaker” means a person who: is responsible for the care of an at-risk person as a result of a family or legal relationship; has assumed responsibility for the care of an at-risk person; or is paid to provide care or services to an at-risk person.
  • “Caretaker neglect” means neglect that occurs when adequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, rehabilitation, supervision, or any other treatment necessary for the health or safety of an at-risk person is not secured for an at-risk person or is not provided by a caretaker in a timely manner and 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.

Several organizations offer training and other opportunities to learn about how to prevent the abuse and neglect of seniors and at-risk adults.

Upcoming Events

Check back often; information about related events and activities will be posted as it is received.

 

Fundraiser

A Drive-thru Alzheimer’s Benefit Breakfast is planned for Friday, June 28, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at The Bridge Assisted Living, 2494 International Circle.

The facility’s management team will serve drive-thru style! Simply drive or walk up to our front entrance for your chef-prepared smothered burrito breakfast for $5.

All funds raised will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association (https://alz.org). Please view the flyer for the Alzheimer’s Benefit Breakfast.

A video that briefly covers how to recognize signs of abuse is online.

Several organizations offer training and other opportunities to learn about how to prevent the abuse and neglect of seniors and at-risk adults.

Upcoming Training

Check back often; training opportunities will be posted as they are received.

Training: Practical Information on Supported Decision Making (SDM) and Elders

When: 9 a.m.-11 a.m. October 21, 2019

Where: Senior Resource Development Agency (SRDA), 230 North Union Ave, Room 101, in Pueblo, CO 81005

Presented by: Kelsey Lesco, Colorado Legal Assistance Developer for Elders under the Older Americans Act

This free training will explore Supported Decision Making. Supported Decision Making (SDM) is a individualized, person-centered process that allows a person with diminished capacity to retain their decision-making capability by selecting friends, family members, professionals, or others to serve as advisers. These advisers help the person to understand and communicate decisions. Supported Decision Making is a growing alternative to guardianship and conservatorship. Following an overview of SDM, this training will discuss capacity, implications of guardianship, consequences of a lack of autonomy, and provide practical information on the SDM process and its limitations.

Professionals Who Should Attend: Social work practitioners, medical, psychologists and mental health, legal/judicial, law enforcement officials and personnel, home care placement agencies, court-appointed guardians and conservators, community-center board staff and clergy.

Register online: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/practical-information-on-supported-decision-making-sdm-and-elders-tickets-75902439239

 

Ongoing Opportunities

Adult Protective Services is able to provide community/outreach training sessions related to Mandatory Reporting of At-Risk Adults and an Overview of Adult Protective Services. To inquire further or schedule a training, please contact the Adult Protective Services Intake Line at (719) 444-5755.

The UCCS Aging Center offers services, training and resources. The community-based non-profit mental health services facility is administered by the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) and is located at the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences Building, Third Floor, Suite 321, 4863 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.

The UCCS Gerontology Center offers a Professional Advancement Certificate in Gerontology designed. The full course extends over two semesters taken in sequence. New enrollees are accepted each semester.

The Colorado Coalition for Elder Rights and Abuse Prevention offer regular training sessions. Information is updated regularly on their website.

HealthCare Interactive offers education and resources for caring for someone with memory loss or dementia.

The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging offers a variety of classes and resources for seniors.

Silver Key offers Transportation Services, Meals on Wheels, Nutrition Services, and Case Management. Silver Key Senior Services is located at 1625 S. Murray Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916. For more information please call (719) 884-2349.

AARP Foundation ElderWatch Colorado is a program with the Colorado attorney general and AARP Foundation whose mission is to ensure that no older adults are left to suffer, alone and in silence, at the hands of those who exploit them. The program fights the financial exploitation of older Coloradans through education and outreach, data collection, and the providing of assistance.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. There are many resources available on their website including:

 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

The El Paso County Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition held a special event in June 2018 for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day with presentation to educate and equip seniors and others in the community.

Presentations included:

The Emergency Shelter Program involves a formal referral and intake process. The program is a collaboration among community agencies, law enforcement, hospitals (especially emergency admissions) and participating long-term care communities and facilities.

There are criteria for admission into the program. The goal is to protect the at-risk adult. Part of the process involves fast-tracking Medicaid applications and the approval process for qualified applicants. Participating shelters help identify potential and available safe discharge options.

If there is an immediate threat to the elder or at-risk adult, call law enforcement. Adult Protective Services can be reached at (719) 444-5755, but that phone number is not monitored 24/7.

The group is also working on establishing a nonprofit guardianship organization to facilitate, when necessary, guardian appointment on an expedited basis for the purpose of emergency placement.

The Emergency Housing Subcommittee is part of the Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition. Members meet regularly to improve the process and find ways to expand the network of participating communities.

Make a difference in a senior’s life

The mission of the PPEAC guardianship volunteer advocate program is to expand the capacity of professional guardians in order to better serve the growing number of incapacitated persons who need a decision-maker in their lives, and to increase the number of individuals who can be served, thereby improving the quality of their lives.

Volunteer advocates help guardians increase visits to their clients. Volunteers assist with tasks that do not require the skill of a guardian, but do increase the quality of the client’s life.  Volunteer advocates shop for items for their clients, and they may accompany clients to appointments and events.

Recently, a client moved into a nursing home. Two volunteer advocates were able to assist with moving the client’s possessions and setting up her room so that when she arrived, the room was more like home than it would have been if her possessions had not been there. This greatly assisted the client with making the transition to her new home. Another volunteer advocate helped set up a Skype call with the client’s sister in Europe, with whom the client hasn’t been able to communicate with for some time. These volunteer advocates are making a difference in the lives of incapacitated individuals.

The PPEAC guardianship volunteer advocate program looking for individuals who are willing to give at least a six-month commitment, two to three hours per week. Upon completion of the training, an official certificate will be awarded. The dates of the next training will be posted soon. The free, two-day training covers information on topics including:

  • Role of the Guardian
  • Elder Mistreatment
  • Dementia
  • Intellectual/Developmental Disability Training
  • Advocate’s Role and Responsibilities

For more information on how you can help, contact Susan Pavlica at 719-884-2357 or volunteeradvocatecos@gmail.com.

The El Paso County Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition was created to empower and educate our community, older adults and caregivers. Meetings are held the third Friday of each month at Silver Key Senior Services, located at 1625 S. Murray Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916. For more information please call Silver Key Senior Services at (719) 884-2349.

Current Active Members

Adams Bank & Trust

Colorado Department of Correction Division of Adult Parole

Colorado Springs Fire Department

Colorado Springs Police Department

Coleman Guardianship

Drive SMART Colorado

Elder Law Attorneys

El Paso County Department of Human Services

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

Life Quality Homes

Mount Saint Francis Nursing Center

Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging

Probate Magistrate

SAVA Senior Care

Sheri Gibson, PhD., LLC

Silver Key Senior Services

Teller County DHS

The Independence Center

Tracie Nicoll, PhD.

UCHealth Memorial Hospital

Vibrance Senior Care

The coalition was founded in 2005 by Silver key Senior Services, the Pikes Peak Area on Aging, and the Colorado Springs Police Department. It was originally known as the Colorado Coalition to Address Abuse in Later Life (CCALL).  Bonnie Brandi of the national Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life provided technical assistance.

Members from 10 different agencies began meeting monthly in 2005. Today membership is made up of 21 different agencies and professionals.

In 2013 the name was changed to the Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition (PPEAC). PPEAC focuses on services to people 60 years old or older but many of the laws apply to all at-risk adults and juveniles. Colorado law requires certain professionals to report mistreatment of at-risk elders (people 70 years old or older) and persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to law enforcement but everyone is strongly urged to report mistreatment of every at-risk person.

Silver Key Senior services has traditionally provided a location for the meetings.  The coalition is led by volunteer officers; a Chairperson, a Co-Chairperson, and a Secretary. Personnel from Silver Key, the Colorado Springs Police Department, The Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging, and El Paso County Adult Protective Services have traditionally filled the officer positions. The coalition identifies two or three goals each year. Subcommittees are formed as needed to achieve the goals. The Education and Outreach Subcommittee has existed since the coalition started in 2005.

 

Accomplishments

2005 to Present: The Education and Outreach Committee has conducted community training on elder abuse awareness, mandated reporting, Coffee with a Cop, and senior safety. We conducted 40 trainings to 800 people in 2014 to prepare for mandatory reporting. We have conducted an average of 25 trainings per year to 600 people annually since 2014.

2006: Survey of individuals age 50 and over designed to:

  • Identify the need for services not currently offered.
  • Expand or otherwise make improvements to existing services.
  • Gauge the overall client perception of service offered or received.
  • Establish the incidence of elder mistreatment in the community.
  • Strengthen efforts to prevent mistreatment of elders.

Those reporting mistreatment after the age of 50 reported emotional abuse most frequently (33.3%) followed by physical abuse (27.1%), financial abuse (22.9%), sexual abuse (10.4%), and neglect (0.6%). Spouses were reported as the most frequent abusers (29.3%) followed by friends (19.5%) and others (14.6%).

2007-2010: $420,000.00 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to implement Enhanced Training and Services to End Violence and Abuse of Women later in Life. The project supported training law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges in the 4th Judicial District. The Colorado Springs Police Department served as the fiscal agent for the grant. Silver key Senior Services housed the CSPD staff member hired as the Grant Coordinator. Representatives from Silver Key, The Area Agency on Aging, the 4th Judicial District’s District Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the Probate Magistrate, and TESSA (Our Center for Domestic Violence) conducted 36 2-day training sessions. We trained 838 sworn officers and 80 community members.

2012 to Present: PPEAC has sponsored a World Elder Abuse Day awareness event on or around June 15th.

2015: Representatives from CSPD, Silver Key, APS, and Rocky Mountain PACE gave a presentation at the National Victims of Crime Conference on building a community collaboration. Dr Sheri Gibson and Detective Chuck Szatkowski presented on interviewing people with dementia, investigating abuse of powers of attorney, and executive function to the State APS Conference.

2016 to Present: Established an Elder Shelter program for at-risk adults who are the victims of mistreatment. Nine skilled nursing facilities and 5 assisted living facilities provide emergency shelter.  DHS has worked to expedite Medicaid applications. The program has shelter 122 people as on 04/12/2019.

2019 Guardianship Volunteer Advocate Program: The program is designed to expand the capacity of professional guardians in order to serve the growing number of incapacitated persons who need a decision-maker in their lives and to increase the number of individuals who can be served. The first session trained 20 people.

Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition Mission

To facilitate community collaboration of services for the elderly (60+) and at-risk adults in the Pikes Peak Region. The PPEAC will focus on the health and welfare of elder and at-risk adults, in addition to education and awareness of mistreatment in the Pikes Peak region.

Pikes Peak Elder Abuse Coalition Vision

A safe environment for every at-risk adult.