Services

Our Work

The VESPA team aims to serve older adults and their families who have experienced abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Expert geriatricians and social workers help to improve the identification of elder abuse within our hospitals and clinics; recommend medical and mental health treatments; and help connect patients with community resources. 

Patients and families who have experienced elder abuse or neglect are often overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn. We partner with local healthcare systems, adult protective services, law enforcement, and other community agencies to help patients and families navigate these complex systems. We hope to help provide support and coordination for all those involved in the care and follow up after abuse occurs. We aim to provide patient-centered advocacy and support while respecting the autonomy and self-determination of our patients. We work with patients and their families to provide care and resources that respect what is most important to them while also improving their safety.

Clinical Care

VESPA provides multi-disciplinary consults whenever there is concern for elder maltreatment for patients hospitalized at University Hospital or Denver Health Medical Center or referrals from other hospitals or community clinics throughout Colorado.  Consultations can identify injuries, guide management and follow-up, and coordinate a consensus impression of abuse likelihood.  VESPA hosts weekly multi-disciplinary meetings to improve care coordination and outcomes with other clinicians, social workers and/or law enforcement as needed.

 

VESPA Offers:

  • Assistance to inpatient teams to respond and evaluate cases of elder abuse
  • Improved identification of elder abuse and neglect
  • Improved care coordination with inpatient teams, law enforcement, Adult Protective Services, and other outpatient providers to improve patient outcomes

Education and Research

VESPA also commits to training the next generation of providers to help care for this important and vulnerable population and contribute to research to improve our understanding of this complex phenomenon. Clinicians are free to reach out to the VESPA team should they not feel comfortable assessing an elder maltreatment patient case.

Some Questions We Can Help With:

  • How concerned should I be?
  • What testing might decrease uncertainty?
  • What do I need to do to report?
  • How can I provide my patient with the best resources when abuse is likely?
  • How can I navigate ethical questions related to maltreatment?

The VESPA Team provides consults for inpatient and outpatients throughout Colorado. Contact vespa@cuanschutz.edu with questions or to schedule a virtual multi-disciplinary team meeting. Meetings are held Thursday afternoons.