Purpose of 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 and El Paso County can implement to make our community known as a remarkable place in which to age. Age-Friendly Colorado Springs (AFCS) is a partnership between the City, AARP, local nonprofits and businesses, and committed volunteers and funders.
In order to form the Age-Friendly Colorado Springs Action Plan, IIAC conducted surveys among older adults and convened committees of community experts in eight domain of livability. The priorities that emerged out of these surveys and convenings include transportation services, affordable senior housing, effective and comprehensive distribution of information, and the creation of a citywide Commission on Aging. In the months ahead, Innovations in Aging will focus on partnering with other local organizations in order to address these key issues facing Colorado Springs in general and older adults in particular.
Innovations in Aging Collaborative (IIAC) has made AFCS a primary initiative for 2016. IIAC oversees the initiative by providing a steering committee and staff support, helps to generate financial resources, and providing current research through IIAC’s report by Tucker Hart Adams, Aging in the Pikes Peak Region (2015).
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers submitted an application to AARP to join the Age-Friendly Communities Network, and that application was approved in 2015. Colorado Springs joined the network on March 8, 2016 in a ceremony at Colorado Springs City Council, in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, Innovations in Aging and AARP Colorado. The official Age Friendly Colorado Springs Report and Action Plan has been submitted for final approval by AARP, and will be officially released and available to the public at the beginning of November.
Purpose/Mission: To create and implement a strategic plan for our community to become an age friendly city that is welcoming and open to citizens of all ages and encourages a maximum quality of life.
Goal: To create an action plan based on the 8 domains of livability that includes performance metrics, a timeline and recommendations for implementation.
Vision: City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County will be an Age Friendly Community that is inclusive and accessible, where all residents may live a healthy, active, and engaged life.
Facilitation: Former City Council President Pro Tem and owner of Martin Business Group, Jan Martin, has served tirelessly as our lead Facilitator and Community Champion
Age Friendly Colorado Springs Strategic Priorities
The Age Friendly Report and Action Plan is a broad and sweeping document with dozens of specific goals in many different areas of life, all with individual metrics for success and timelines. Due to the sheer number of action items and possible initiatives, it has been necessary for IIAC to focus on a few strategic priorities that we will emphasize in the next year. These priorities include the formation of a citywide Commission on Aging, to act as a permanent and ongoing advocate for older adults within City government.
We are also beginning the research and development of a web portal/database that will act as a single, comprehensive point of entry for older adults who need information about available services, employment or volunteer opportunities, social events, and more. There is a great variety of great organizations doing good work in Colorado Springs in all of these areas, but seniors frequently report being unsure of where to go for information or help, and complain of being referred fromplace to place and organization to organization. By creating a “one-stop-shop” portal, we will improve the efficiency of services and ease and comfort of older adults.
Innovations in Aging Collaborative is also committed to continuing to advocate for, and research innovative solutions to crises in transportation and affordable housing, as these are the concerns that frequently emerge as most pressing for our elder citizens. We are also dedicated to the ongoing pursuit of intergenerational activities that creatively and productively bring together people of different ages for mutual benefit.
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Age-Friendly Colorado Springs Official Launch
March 8, 2016, Colorado Springs City Council