Adult Protective Services

What Are Adult Protective Services?

Adult Protective Services (APS) provides intervention on behalf of at-risk adults over 18 to correct or alleviate situations in which actual or imminent danger of abuse, neglect, or exploitation exists.


In the Colorado Adult Protective Services statute an "at-risk" adult means an individual 18 years or older who is susceptible to mistreatment because they are unable to perform or obtain services necessary for their health, safety, or welfare, or, who lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his/her person or affairs.

Forms of Mistreatment

  • Exploitation: means taking an at-risk adult's money or other assets against their will or without their knowledge. It also means:
    • Deceiving
    • Harassing
    • Intimidating
    • Using undue influence to get the adult to do something against their will
  • Caretaker Neglect: occurs when an at-risk adult's caretaker fails to make sure the adult has adequate:
    • Clothing
    • Food
    • Medical care
    • Physical care
    • Psychological care
    • Shelter
    • Supervision
  • Physical Abuse: includes any of the following occurring to an at-risk adult:
    • Burning
    • Confining
    • Hitting
    • Kicking
    • Pushing
    • Restraining
    • Slapping
  • Sexual Abuse: is sexual activity or touching without the at-risk adult's consent or understanding
  • Self-Neglect: occurs when an at-risk adult cannot or does not care for themselves
    • Choice of lifestyle, by itself, is not proof of self-neglect


APS offers protective services to improve the health, safety, and welfare of at-risk adults experiencing mistreatment or self-neglect. APS uses community-based services and resources, health care services, family and friends when appropriate, and other support systems.

Reporting Mistreatment

Certain professional groups are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect. This includes:

  • Adult care facility staff
  • Clergy members
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Emergency responders
  • Financial institutions staff
  • Home health providers
  • Nurses, and many others

For more information on reporting mistreatment, please visit the Colorado Adult Protective Services website. Individuals who are not mandatory reporters are urged to report mistreatment or self-neglect of an at-risk adult. All reports to Adult Protective Services are confidential and can be made anonymously.

Speak up for at-risk adults.