Is Your Church Serving The Needs of Its Seniors?

We seek your help to identify churches  and other faith-based organizations you may know of in our community that are leading the way in serving the needs of their older members. We want to help identify innovative strategies and best practices that can inform a new initiative to make Colorado an age-friendly state.

Everyone ages, and being able to stay in one’s community of choice as we age is a universal aspiration.  It enhances the quality of life of older Coloradans and strengthens our families and communities. It also is less expensive for families, businesses and taxpayers than other alternatives.

Community is where we live, worship, work, raise our families, engage with our neighbors and serve others. But too often, transportation, communication, housing, affordability and other barriers prevent many of our older neighbors from participating fully, thereby accelerating their social isolation and deteriorating health.  Ultimately, many are forced to leave their communities of choice altogether when the barriers become too great.

While some of those barriers may be unavoidable, many are not.

These are challenges that are best solved at the community level – in fact, creative solutions are emerging in communities throughout Colorado. That’s why the Governor’s Office reached out to us for some help. They want to learn about as many solutions as possible, including those undertaken by faith communities. They want to lift up these examples so other communities throughout the state can learn from them and better serve their own members.

As the number of older Coloradans increases (over 20% of us are now over 60 years old), this is becoming a critical issue for all of us. So I am asking you, in the next few days, to give some thought to what you are doing in your own organization and what you have heard that others are doing. Then send me a quick email with your thoughts, including the names and contact information of those you think we might learn more from.

Thank you for your assistance. I think this is a worthy, community-focused effort and I hope you can join me to help make it a success.

If you have any questions, you may contact Wade Buchanan, the state’s Senior Advisor on Aging, at wade.buchanan@state.co.us or 303-866-6388.

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