Wednesday, April 20, 2016

City's making life better for oldsters

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 1:06 PM

First, so-called young professionals were the category of citizens the state and Colorado Springs were trying to attract.
click to enlarge Mayor John Suthers, looking vibrant and youthful, wants to make things easier for those who are aging. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Mayor John Suthers, looking vibrant and youthful, wants to make things easier for those who are aging.

Now, Mayor John Suthers has appointed chairpersons to a collaborative that will work toward making Colorado Springs an "age-friendly" community, which is loosely defined in the news release below as being welcoming for individuals of all ages. However, the initiative is in partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons, so that's definitely a target group.

A wise public official from years ago once made the point that lawmakers need to be careful in what policies they adopt, because retired-friendly laws and programs undoubtedly will attract more retired residents to a state, and those people spend less, while requiring much more government support than younger people, most notably on health care and other aging programs such as meals on wheels.

But hey, I fall into that "older" category, so I'm all for making life easier for seniors.

In any event, older people are more consistent voters than younger people, so they often have a lock on elections and have the ear of those elected officials. To wit, the older folks installed as Springs City Council members in the 2015 election, despite many candidates who were considered young professionals.

Suthers' news release:
Colorado Springs, CO - Innovations in Aging Collaborative along with the City of Colorado Springs and AARP have launched the Age-Friendly Colorado Springs initiative. The purpose of Colorado Springs joining the network of AARP Age Friendly Communities is to serve as a catalyst to educate, inspire, and promote improvements that Colorado Springs can implement to make our community known as a remarkable place to age. Age-Friendly Colorado Springs (AFCS) is a partnership between governmental agencies, nonprofits, businesses, committed volunteers and funders. The purpose of AFCS is to develop an action plan that guides and builds strategies to make Colorado Springs livable and welcoming for individuals of all ages. The affiliation with AARP provides value, networking, and best practices of other Age Friendly Communities.

Mayor Suthers has appointed the following Colorado Springs citizens to serve as Chair people for the eight Age-Friendly Colorado Springs Subcommittees:

Transportation: Craig Blewitt, Transportation Services Manager, Mountain Metropolitan Transit, City of Colorado Springs
Housing: Dan O’Rear, Executive Director, Myron Stratton Home
Social Participation: Jody Barker, Executive Director of Aging Initiatives, YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region
Community Support and Health Services: Kent Matthews, Family Caregiver Support Center, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Area Agency on Aging
Respect and Social Inclusion: Carrie Schillinger, Program Development, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Area Agency on Aging
Civic Participation and Employment: Susan Presti, Community Relations and Information Management, Colorado Springs Utilities
Outdoor Spaces and Buildings: Carl Schueler, Comprehensive Planning Manager, City of Colorado Springs
Communication and Information: Jeanne Devant, Editor, Life After 50

To learn more about the Age-Friendly Colorado Springs Initiative, visit www.innovationsinaging.org.

The mission of Innovations in Aging Collaborative is to convene the community to promote creative approaches that address the challenges and opportunities of aging. 

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