What is the age when more support is required to live independently and safely in a home? What if a loved one is starting to miss things – forgets to take medications or seems confused when you have a weekly phone chat?
Where do you get help? In the over-information age, it can be hard to know where to look for answers. State estimates are that by 2030, one in five Coloradans will be over the age of 65.
Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging
The state is actively looking to address the issues that come with aging. Part of the comprehensive strategy was to create the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging in 2015. This group has been holding meeting across the state to gather citizen input.
Two of the issues that had come up repeatedly were:
- Health care and the multifaceted issues of rising costs, reduced access in rural communities, insufficient facilities and coverage gaps
- Lack of knowledge on how to navigate services at state and local levels
In January, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Wade Buchanan to a newly created role of Senior Advisor on Aging. He will become a central leader for coordinating policy and guidance on aging related issues.
A Colorado non-profit, the NextFifty Initiative – currently chaired by our partner Marco Chayet – has also been at the forefront on issues of aging. The initiative works as a catalyst to fund ideas, concepts and programs that allow aging members of our communities to remain engaged and highly functional.
Late last year, the organization launched its initial grant cycle. Transportation from autonomous vehicles, urban planning that takes into account all ages and breaking aging stereotypes are a few of the ideas and aims.
While AARP may start contact at age 50 and some restaurants have senior menus starting at age 55, many people do not believe they are a senior until their 90s. Each person ages differently and it is important to recognize that resources are available when you or a loved one needs more help.