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New efforts on the way to help protect elderly

New efforts on the way to protect elderly

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - New efforts are on the way to help protect the elderly in Colorado.

On July 1, the mandatory reporting bill for at risk elders will take effect. The law will require rather than urge certain professionals to report abuse, caretaker negle3ct and exploitation of at risk adults who are 70 years and older. That includes doctors, nurses, firefighters, police, clergy and others.

"I think it's a wonderful thing for our community. It makes our community more safe and livable. It helps seniors stay home longer if they can, by us being able to assess the needs and provide some protective services in the home," said Chris Garvin, director of Aging and Adult Services at the El Paso County Department of Human Services.

The law also grants money for protective services. El Paso County received $70,000.

"We'll use those to help seniors who are at risk with services in the home to reduce the risk," Garvin said.

The new efforts to protect the elderly also target caregivers. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a proclamation Monday naming March as Colorado Caregiver Month. Garvin said it will highlight the difficult and stressful job caretakers have.

The public can also help protect the elderly. If you suspect abuse or neglect of an at risk adult, you can call DHS anonymously at (719) 444-5755.

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