The Changing Face of Aging in Southern Colorado

The aging landscape is changing at a rapid rate with the baby boomer population nearly fully aged into senior status.

Colorado is now a state on the forefront of innovating services and options for retirement and Pueblo Area Agency on Aging is working with the State Unit on Aging and the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging to address concerns and innovative approaches for Southern Colorado. Along with 16 other Area Agencies on Aging; Pueblo is positioned to ensure the aging agenda is kept at the forefront of conversations in the community. There is now a statewide initiative to increase aging funding to meet the demand of an almost 70% increase of population over 60 by the year 2030. Yes, that’s right, the Baby Boomers have arrived. There has never been a time in our recent history when this dynamic has made such a great impact on culture and society. If you’ve heard, “I’m not my Grandmother” or “Life really begins at 60”, you’re most likely talking to a Boomer. We cannot look at services or community development the same in the coming years. Over 60 means, lifestyle, travel, aging in place, innovating intergenerational services. Aging means creating community and developing connections to ensure aging is enjoyable and safe. The Area Agency on Aging is working with community partners and agencies to develop dialogue and assessments to address Southern Colorado’s capacity to care for our aging population as well as identify opportunities to enhance the great services and housing options we already enjoy. They are also developing initiatives to increase awareness about elder abuse, emergency planning, community dialogue, intergenerational outreach, and much more to support the many other aspect of community life here in Southern Colorado. The Senior Resource Development Agency and Colorado Legal Services have also teamed up to identify ways to address need and look to future for innovative approaches, ensuring the needs of this new aging population are addressed. The hope is to engage each member of the community to become educated about aging topics and act as aging ambassadors for their own families and community.

This article was submitted by Valerie Acosta Koehn. Valerie is a Program Manager & Ombudsman with the Area Agency on Aging and may be reached at 719-583-6317 or by email at koehnv@pueblocounty.us