There are already many components of the Age Friendly Action plan that are beginning to be implemented and developed, all of which are making exciting contributions to creating a more supportive community for people of all ages. Take a look at the happenings below to see Age Friendly in Action around town, and check back often to watch our community grow and look for opportunities to participate.
Get Involved: Citizen Action Groups
Interested in helping our community become more age friendly? Look at individual projects for which we are seeking volunteers. Check out Volunteer Group Projects to learn more and email firstname.lastname@example.org!
We have begun the advocacy and outreach piece of AFCS by ensuring that there are Age Friendly advocates on the public committee for the City’s Comprehensive Plan, so that the voice of older adults is constantly heard as the City constructs a vision for the future. Additionally, Innovations in Aging Collaborative staff and partners have given a number of presentations, and attended numerous community meetings in order to promote and advocate for the Age Friendly Plan and Report.
Trails and Parks The City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation department is in the process of developing a unified system for rating trails and parks in our beautiful area, a rating system that includes accessibility and ease of use. This system will also be accompanied by an app that helps users navigate trails and parks and understand any specific physical challenges they may encounter. Ease of navigation and a universal system for rating trail difficulty will help to ensure that older adults are able to continue their enjoyment of the natural environment that makes Colorado Springs unique.
As transportation consistently poses significant challenges for older adults, we are delighted to encourage and monitor the efforts of Mountain Metro Transit as they work to become more accessible and convenient for elders in our communities. They are currently offering half-priced fares for seniors and marketing the Senior Ambassador program, which pairs novice riders with experienced seniors to help new bus-goers feel more comfortable navigating public transit.
Innovations in Aging Collaboration is also monitoring the implementation and expansion of programs focused on senior wellness in local YMCAs, and community centers around the region. This is an important element of Age Friendly Colorado Springs, as it addresses many different priorities, including the physical health and well being of older adults, as well as increasing their social participation and sense of community, both of which have been consistently linked to happier, healthier, and more meaningful lives.
Age Friendly Business Designation
IIAC is also proud to work with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado to present the Age Friendly Business Designation. This certification, offered to eligible BBB accredited businesses, evaluates a number of different factors that impact the experience of older adults and makes suggestions for improvements. The designation is currently being piloted with a small number of businesses and will become widely available in November of this year. Once in place, the Age Friendly Business Designation will encourage more businesses to consider the needs of older adults, which will be an economic boon to the businesses and increase the quality of life for elders in our community who require goods and services. The list of current Age Friendly Certified businesses includes:
- Accelerated Wealth
- The Platinum Group Realtors
- C&C Sand and Stone
- Colorado Living
- Number 1 Son Home Maintenance LLC
- Phoenix Strategies
- Prestige Dental
- Silver Key Senior Services
- Palmer Park Dentistry
- Gentle Shepherd Home Care, LLC
- The Inn at Garden Plaza
To learn more about the BBB’s Age Friendly Business Designation visit their site or view more information here. If your business is interested in becoming Age Friendly, please contact the Better Business Bureau at 719.626.1155
As one of the most important challenges facing older adults in our region, we are committed to addressing the shortage of accessible, affordable housing. As we work to find broader, systemic solutions to the housing shortage we would also like to offer information on the housing options that are currently available for older adults. This is only a rudimentary list, please contact us if you have an addition or update.
- A list of affordable HUD housing, for both families and single elders is available here
- Information on a range of housing assistance programs offered through Colorado Springs Housing Authority can be found here
- The Senior Living Guide for Colorado Springs can be accessed here
- A list of assisted living facilities in Colorado Springs is here
- Continuing care retirement homes in Colorado Spring are listed here
- Independent living communities are listed here
- Finally, other resources for finding senior living can be found here
Innovations in Aging Collaborative is excited to move forward in our development of Colorado Springs’ first intergenerational Village (iVillage) in the Old North End Neighborhood. Called the ONEN iVillage, the virtual village will follow a model developed in many other cities across the U.S. to facilitate the aging in place of its members by organizing neighbors to volunteer minor services to other, older neighbors. There are many older adults who need some assistance with a few small tasks, such as running errands, yardwork, or snow removal, but are otherwise perfectly capable of remaining in their own homes. In addition to caring for the needs of elders, iVillages also focus on reinvigorating a sense of neighborhood connection that allows people of all ages to live not just in a home, but in an actual community where they know and are known by the people surrounding them. IIAC is currently hiring a Program Coordinator to direct the formation of the ONEN iVillage, and will begin public implementation in mid-October. For more information and updates, check here.