In March 2016, Colorado Springs became an Age Friendly City, a designation through AARP and the World Health Organization.
Mayor Suthers appointed Innovations in Aging Collaborative to administer the Age Friendly Colorado Springs Plan. Since becoming an Age Friendly City, Innovations in Aging Collaborative worked to convene the community and establish partnerships to accomplish the actions items within the Age Friendly Action Plan and to improve the community for people of all ages. The AARP Age Friendly cycle is a five-year time-period, and Innovations in Aging Collaborative is now at the mid-point in our Age Friendly plan. As of Fall 2018, the organization is 49% complete with our Age Friendly Colorado Springs Plan. This percent is determined based on the progress or completion of the 150 plus action items within the Age Friendly Plan.
Over the past two and a half years, Innovations in Aging Collaborative incubated and fostered several major programs to improve the lives of older adults in Colorado Springs.
- Innovations in Aging partnered with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado to create the Age Friendly Business Designation in 2016. This designation allows older adults to easily access a list of business which are dedicated to serving people of all ages and mobilities.
- Over 100 businesses were certified as Age Friendly in Colorado Springs
- In 2015, Innovations in Aging partnered with Silver Key Senior Services, the UCCS Aging Center, and the Area Agency on Aging to create the Silver Key Senior Outreach Services (SOS) Program. This program works to identify older adults who may need support before a serious crisis develops and connects them to mental health and case management services.
- More than 300 clients served by the SOS program since Summer 2018
- In Spring 2017, City Council approved the Colorado Springs Commission on Aging, following advocacy efforts by Innovations in Aging. The Commission on Aging is a body dedicated to advocating for older adults in the municipal government of Colorado Springs.
- The Commission advises City Council on special issues around aging and makes annual budget recommendations
Moving forward, Innovations in Aging Collaborative is planning to publish a Midway Age Friendly Report in December 2018, and an online version of the report will be available on our website at innovationsinaging.org. Along with reporting our progress, Innovations in Aging Collaborative will continue to work on the Age Friendly action items to make Colorado Springs a better place to live for people of our ages. To stay up to date on our latest projects follow Innovations in Aging Collaborative and Age Friendly Colorado Springs on Facebook.
Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by Innovations in Aging Collaborative and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-602-3815.