#GivingTuesdayNow on May 05, 2020 is a new global day of giving as an emergency response to the unprecedented need due to COVID-19. Check out Innovations in Aging Collaborative’s donation page here: https://www.coloradogives.org/InnovationsinAgingCollaborative/overview
#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity that will take place on May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. You can check out our page and plan your donation here: https://www.coloradogives.org/InnovationsinAgingCollaborative/overview
Aging in Place in Colorado Springs
Aging in place is the idea that a person can remain in the residence of their choosing as they age. This requires elements of universal design, in-home services, financial planning, and preparation. In a 2018 survey conducted by Elevated Insights, 94% of older residents (60+) said they are likely or very likely to remain in El Paso County throughout retirement. In fact, a recent study by AARP found that nine of 10 older Americans preferred to live in their homes as long as possible. This blog explores the resources available in Colorado Springs that will help older adults age in place.
In order to age in place, home modifications are often necessary. This is also known as retrofitting which is defined as to add a component or accessory to something that did not have it when manufactured. Another word often associated with home modifications and aging in place is Universal Design. Universal design is the design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors. Home modification resources in Colorado Springs are listed below.
Brothers Redevelopment Incorporated
Brothers’ Senior Services Coordination ties everything together for older Coloradans. Helpful information is at hand for anyone with a question by calling the statewide helpline,
Colorado Housing Connects, 1-844-926-6632.
- Coordinators assist clients with applying for benefitsand other services, such as Social Security, Veterans and other federal and state benefits.
- Brothers’ Counseling and Educationpros inform on reverse mortgages and all housing-related financial topics. They also can help with other topics, such as living wills, identity-theft protection, powers of attorney, financial planning and budgeting.
- Coordinators can facilitate food assistance, house-cleaning services, yard work, health care, transportation and more.
Learn more here: https://brothersredevelopment.org/senior-services/
Energy Resource Center
The Energy Resource Center is a non-profit construction company assisting income-qualified families through energy efficiency improvements. Work completed includes insulation, HVAC, hot water heaters, lighting, appliances, air sealing and more. These efforts save money on energy bills, reduce demand on natural resources by cutting energy waste, assist with the affordable housing crisis, and create a safe environment in which Colorado residents can thrive. Learn more here: https://www.erc-co.org/
Habitat for Humanity’s Home Repair Program
Pikes Peak Habitat’s Home Repair Program focuses on exterior work such as painting, patching, minor repair, landscaping and replacement of exterior building materials for maintaining good or sound condition. If your home needs repairs, review the eligibility criteria here: https://pikespeakhabitat.org/our-programs/home-repair/
The Independence Center
The Independence Center is a local nonprofit organization that provides traditional and self-directed home health care, independent living, veteran services, and advocacy services for people with disabilities.
Check out the Independence Center’s Stay in your home as you age checklist here: https://rismedia.com/2019/09/19/stay-home-age-checklist/
Colorado Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waiver
The Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for persons who are Elderly, Blind, or Disabled (EBD) aids people ages 65 and older who have a functional impairment or are blind, and to people ages 18-64 who are physically disabled or have a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS, and require long-term supports and services in order to remain in a community setting.
If you are enrolled in the EBD waiver, you will receive regular Health First Colorado benefits. Additionally, you will also receive the following services specific to the EBD waiver:
- Adult Day Services
- Alternative Care Facilities
- Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services
- Home Delivered Meals
- Homemaker Services
- Home Modifications
- In-Home Support Services
- Life Skills Training
- Medication Reminder
- Non-Medical Transportation
- Peer Mentorship
- Personal Care Services
- Personal Emergency Response System
- Respite Care Services
- Transition Set Up
Learn more here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/elderly-blind-disabled-waiver-ebd
Next Day Access
Next Day Access is a national and local provider for creating accessibility within your home.
Next Day Access in Colorado Springs, CO Offers:
- Wheelchair Ramp Installations
- Stair Lift Installations
- Grab Bars
- Patient Lift Installations
- Pool Lift Installations
- Porch Lift Installations
- Residential Elevator Installations
- Vehicle Lift Installations
Learn more here: https://www.nextdayaccess.com/colorado-springs-co/our-services/installation/
Many older adults cannot drive due to financial or physical reasons. Nearly 40 percent of people age 65 and older had at least one disability, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report that covered the period 2008 to 2012. Older adults with disabilities often need driving services to be able to get out of their house to stay social, get groceries, and go to doctor appointments. Here are a few resources in Colorado Springs.
Whether you are an older adult, have a disability, or face financial challenges, you can depend on Envida drivers to be with you every step of the way. Riders must qualify as older adults through Medicaid, be eligible for reimbursable rides through Medicaid or be certified disabled through Metro Mobility. Learn more here: https://envidacares.org/
Health Promotion Partners
Health Promotion Partners is a Colorado Springs non-profit whose goal is to help individuals and families have the information they need to make safe mobility decisions that balance personal freedom, independence, and safety. Health Promotion Partners provide comprehensive driver evaluations, driver rehabilitation services, and adaptive driving equipment. Learn more here: https://www.healthpromotionpartners.com/
Silver Key Senior Services
Silver Key’s transportation service provides door-through-door ADA accessible transportation for medical appointments, shopping, group meals, social activities, recreation trips, and more. Recurring daily, weekly, or monthly rides can be scheduled upon request. Transportation accommodates wheelchairs, walkers, those needing a lift device, oxygen, and other special needs.
Mountain Metro Transit
Mountain Metro is proud to offer the community a Senior Ambassador Program to help seniors get acquainted with the city bus system and establish themselves as regular riders.
Senior Ambassadors are currently available to offer one-on-one training to any new rider who is a senior. New riders interested in personalized training in the form of an actual outing on the city bus, can contact Mountain Metro to get connected with an Ambassador. Learn more here: https://coloradosprings.gov/mountain-metro/page/senior-riders
Mountain Metro offers Metro Mobility which is an ADA paratransit service provided for individuals who, because of their disability, are unable to use fixed-route bus services. Learn more here: https://coloradosprings.gov/mountain-metro/page/mountain-metro-mobility
Coach Transportation provides wheelchair transportation, non-medical transportation, and non-emergency medical transportation. Learn more here: https://mycoachtransportation.com/
Beo Mobility is a transportation service that accommodates ambulatory clients or those that are confined to a wheelchair. Learn more here: http://www.beopersonalcare.com/mobility/
Fountain Valley Senior Center Transportation
The Fountain Valley Senior Center provides transportation for medical/dental appointments, grocery shopping, nutrition sites, employment/education, recreation and socialization. Any person age 60 and older or those who are non-elderly disabled (confined to a wheelchair) who live in Southern and Eastern El Paso County may be eligible. For more information, please call (719) 520-6472. Learn more here: https://humanservices.elpasoco.com/fountain-valley-senior-center/
Silvernest is a one-stop-shop online home sharing platform that pairs boomers, retirees, empty nesters and other older adults with compatible housemates for long-term rent arrangements. Through these creative living situations, homeowners earn extra income, remain in their homes longer, and keep isolation at bay, while renters pay far less than market rent. Learn more here: https://www.silvernest.com/house-share/co/southernfrontrange/coloradosprings
Sunshine Home Sharing
Sunshine Home Share Colorado staff support the matching process to ensure matches are made in a safe and thoughtful manner increasing the likelihood of a successful match. Learn more here: https://www.sunshinehomeshare.org/
Colorado Springs Senior Blue Book
The Senior Blue Book is Colorado Springs’ most comprehensive and reliable source to find and compare Health at Home options like Home Health Care, Non-Medical Home Care and Hospice and Senior Resources. Learn more here: https://www.seniorsbluebook.com/senior-resources/coloradosprings
Colorado Springs Fire Department CAREs Program
This mobile integrated health program involves direct CSFD interaction with members of the Colorado Springs community before they need to call 9-1-1. The program identifies high utilizers of the emergency health system and redirects them to more appropriate care that leads to better patient outcomes. This is achieved by providing injury and illness prevention, chronic disease management education, low acuity medical response, proper medical facility navigation, and follow-up with hospital and emergency department discharge plans. The teams find what is best for the patient and our community by Looking, Listening and Connecting.
Learn more here: https://coloradosprings.gov/fire-department/page/community-and-public-health-cares#cares
Silver Key SOS
Anyone can contact Silver Key if there is a concern about a senior who may need help. Once Silver Key has been contacted, a Silver Key SOS case manager will talk with the senior to determine the need and willingness for help. If the older adult agrees, Silver Key SOS will help connect them with appropriate services. Services include counseling, case management referrals, community resources, depression screening and treatment, and identification and early intervention of prescription drug misuse or abuse. Learn more here: https://www.silverkey.org/services/senior-assistance/silver-key-sos/
Dispatch Health is a mobile urgent care. Clients request care through either the mobile app, website or by telephone at 720-647-5329. The medical providers will review your symptoms and send medical personnel to your location to get you the care you need. Learn more here: https://www.dispatchhealth.com/how-it-works/
Area Agency on Aging Senior Insurance Resources
The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) Senior Insurance Assistance is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office which serves El Paso, Park and Teller counties. The trained staff and volunteers provide educational classes and presentations around the Pikes Peak region, in order to help you better understand Medicare and your health insurance benefits. Learn more here: http://www.ppacg.org/aging/senior-insurance/
Silver Key Home Delivered Meals
Anyone age 60+ can benefit from having a freshly prepared meal arranged and brought to your door by a friendly, trained volunteer. You register by phone and choose a 3-, 5-, or 7-day weekly meal plan. Call 719-884-2300 or visit https://www.silverkey.org/services/home-delivered-meals/ for more information
Dementia Myth Busting
On March 27th, Innovations in Aging Collaborative joined Dementia Friendly America in their efforts to make America a safer place for people with Dementia. Colorado Springs is now considered a Dementia Friendly city and IIAC is working hard to improve our city for those experiencing dementia. In society there is often a cloud of confusion and myth surrounding Dementia. To become more Dementia Friendly, it’s important we educate ourselves and our community about Dementia. To do this, we need to define what dementia is and debunk some of the common myths about it.
Dementia is defined by the Mayo Clinic as, “a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with your daily life. It isn’t a specific disease, but several different diseases may cause dementia”.
Myth: Dementia is the same thing as Alzheimer’s Disease.
This is false. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is caused by plaques which are buildups of protein, and tangles which are tangled bundles of protein in the brain. These plaques and tangles can cause memory loss which contributes to dementia.
Myth: Dementia is a normal part of aging
Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Many older adults will experience some minor memory issues such as temporarily forgetting an event or the name of an acquaintance but eventually recalling it. Persons experiencing Dementia on the other hand may not remember the name of a relative or what season it is. Some memory loss is normal for aging adults, but when it interferes with their quality of life or ability to function it could be considered Dementia.
Myth: Only seniors can experience Dementia
Early onset dementia affects people under 65 years old. 5% of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease experience early onset. Although it is a small percent, it is a significant group of people that are experiencing symptoms of dementia as early as their late thirties.
Myth: If your parent has dementia, you will have Dementia
There are different types of Dementia and the majority of them are not hereditary and will not be passed down to children or grandchildren.
Myth: You cannot do anything to prevent getting Dementia
This is false, there are multiple lifestyle changes that can aid in keeping you healthy later in life. Through research and clinical trials, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found three practices that can prolong Dementia: Increased physical activity, blood pressure management for those with hypertension, and cognitive training.
Myth: People with Dementia need to be treated like children
This is an especially harmful myth. There is a phenomenon called ‘elderspeak’, which is a term used to describe how younger people talk to elders. Elderspeak often has a high-pitched tone and the use of words like ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’. Elderspeak can make seniors feel disrespected and degraded. Studies have shown that elderspeak is correlated with an increase of challenging behaviors such as refusing care.
These myths are commonly held to be true in our community. As we learn more about Dementia it is important that we all do our part to educate each other. The more we know, the more we can support those living with dementia and their caretakers.
To learn more about Dementia and Dementia Friendly America visit these resources:
Aging in Place and ADUs
In a 2018 survey conducted by Elevated Insights, 94% of older residents (60+) said they are likely or very likely to remain in El Paso County throughout retirement. As our older population increases and decides to stay in Colorado Springs, we must find creative and resourceful options to fulfill their demand to age in place. A person can age in place and in community, when their housing options and community accommodate possible changes in ability, mobility, or physical and/or mental health.
Above all, we need to make our city more age friendly and accommodate people of all ages. Anti-ageism activist, Ashton Applewhite, notes that “although they make up only 35 percent of the population, people over 50 contribute 43 percent of the total US GDP — a cool $7.4 trillion.” Colorado Springs is well positioned to entice our residents to stay into retirement, but we need to encourage innovative options for aging in place. One option that increases housing density and encourages aging in place is Accessory Dwelling Units.
What is an ADU?
An Accessory Dwelling Unit or an ADU is a secondary apartment on a residential lot or within the main home. ADUs are often referred to as mother-in-law suites, granny flats, guest houses, etc. They are beneficial because they increase housing density in an unobtrusive manner. The height and size regulations, already required by the city mean an ADU will blend in with the existing house and neighborhood. Additionally, expanding the code to allow ADUs in single-family zones will increase and diversify the housing stock. These new, smaller units will ease the need for affordable housing and give people greater variety in their housing options.
How do ADUs help aging in place?
Accessory Dwelling Units advance aging in place because they encourage multi-generational living, offer a convenient option for downsizing, and create an alternative source of revenue. ADUs are often termed mother-in-law suites and granny flats because they allow different generations of the family to live in the same lot with privacy. Beyond encouraging intergenerational interaction, ADUs allow people to age in place because of the revenue they can generate. Because many older adults are on a fixed-income, renting out an ADU or the main house provide them financial stability to age in place. Finally, detached ADUs are a great option for aging in place because many have a zero-step entry. As home owners are building ADUs, they have the flexibility to construct the unit with ADA accessibility and Universal Design standards in mind. Universal Design accommodates ADA regulations and encourages other modifications that allow easy mobility throughout a home.
What is happening in Colorado Springs?
The City Planning Commission will present City Council a proposal on expanding ADUs in Spring 2019. ADUs are currently allowed in two-family and multi-family zones. This proposal would allow ADUs in single-family zone districts and reduce the challenges many homeowners face when trying to build an ADU. Click here to learn more about the proposed ordinance and how you can voice your opinion.
Support for Caregivers
As the population continues to grow older, caregivers are a crucial component of helping older adults age in place and age in community. “An estimated 34.2 million American adults served as an unpaid caregiver to someone age 50 or older in the past 12 months” (AARP). Caregivers, those caring for a loved one, and professional caregivers face stress and lifestyle challenges. However, there are a wealth of resources available to help caregivers care for their loved ones and their self.
The Pikes Peak Region has an abundance of resources and organizations who offer support and guidance to caregivers.
- The Area Agency on Aging has a Family Caregiver Support Center, which provides families professional guidance in preparing an individualized caregiving plan and help accessing supportive services. The Area Agency on Aging can be reached online or on the phone: 719-471-2096
- The UCCS Aging Center offers an Aging Families and Caregiver Program. The center offers services, such as caregiver individual therapy and coping with caregiving classes, that assist family and friends of older adults who are experiencing difficulties.
Online Support for Caregivers
Beyond our local resources, there are many online websites that offer help, advice, and support to caregivers.
- AARP has a wealth of resources from financial and legal advice to caregiver basics on their website.
- Caregiverstess.com provides ways to care for yourself while caring for an aging loved one.
- Colorado Respite Coalition strives to improve respite access and awareness across the state.
- Lots a helping hands offers support communities.
National and Government Resources
There are many national websites that provide information and services to help caregivers looking for information for their loved one.
- Alzheimer’s Association is a resource for any questions about dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- The Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association offers general support groups for caregivers, and support groups for adult caregiver children of parents with Alzheimer’s Disease. You can call 800-272-3900 for all info, including registering for classes and getting info on our support groups.
- Federal government sites offer help and resources about Medicare and Social Security.