Types of Adult Abuse

If you suspect mistreatment or self-neglect of an at-risk adult, and the person lives in Douglas County, immediately report the situation to the
Douglas County Department of Human Services at 303-663-6270.

Adult Protection Staff investigates mistreatment of at-risk adults.  This mistreatment may be in the form of Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation.


  • Infliction of physical pain or injury, such as substantial or multiple skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, dehydration, burns, bone fractures, poisoning, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swelling, or suffocation.
  • Unreasonable confinement or restraint
  • Subjection to consensual sexual contact or conduct


  • Caretaker Neglect – Adequate food, clothing, shelter, psychological care, physical care, medical care, or supervision is not secured for the at-risk adult 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.
  • Self Neglect – An act or failure to act whereby an at-risk adult substantially endangers the adult’s health, safety, welfare, or life by not seeking or obtaining services necessary to meet the adult’s essential human needs.
  • Choice of lifestyle or living arrangements is not, by itself, evidence of self-neglect.


  • The illegal or improper use of an at-risk adult – or the adult’s resources for another person’s profit or advantage.