Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Region prepares for 'silver tsunami'

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 10:11 AM

click to enlarge GARRY KNIGHT
  • Garry Knight

Local organizations that help seniors are bracing for a crisis.

According to the Colorado State Demography Office, El Paso County’s population of those 65 or older will increase by 179 percent in the next 30 years — a far larger increase than is expected in the nation as a whole. And yet local service providers have done little to plan for the increase until recently, when the Innovations in Aging Collaborative and Peak Vista Community Health Centers led a six-month project involving 52 service providers and senior stakeholders that focused on aging well in the Pikes Peak region.

Topics included community awareness, the insurance system, care coordination/navigation, and affordable housing, among many more.

Recommendations, which are laid out in a consultant’s report titled “Convening to Support Aging in Place for the Pikes Peak Region,” focus on bringing in different perspectives, developing expert groups that can help solve and give advice on age-related issues, and increasing awareness of programs for seniors. Some examples are the proposed development of a hub for senior services, an education and navigation system for Medicare, and a better way to identify and meet mental health needs. To read the report, see innovationsinaging.org

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