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Colorado One Step Closer to Preparing for Aging Population

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Colorado's Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging is releasing its plan to prepare for a rapidly growing older population. (Pixabay)
Colorado's Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging is releasing its plan to prepare for a rapidly growing older population. (Pixabay)
 By Eric Galatas - Producer, Contact
November 29, 2016

DENVER – By 2030, the number of Colorado residents age 65 or older is projected to increase by 68 percent. The Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging, created by the General Assembly and governor's office to study the impacts of shifting demographics, will release its initial report today at the State Capitol.

Mike Saccone, director of communications for the group, said the plan is the result of more than a year's worth of rigorous discussion, research and debate.

"How it will affect Colorado, how it will impact public and private programs alike, and what are some ways that the state can prepare for aging and ensure that the Centennial State really is a great place for everybody, including aging Coloradans," he explained.

He said as Coloradans get older, every aspect of daily life for millions will be affected, from the economy to transportation systems and the workforce. The committee's recommendations include protecting seniors from abuse and exploitation, helping more Coloradans save for retirement, and supporting caregivers.

Kelli Fritts, advocacy director for AARP Colorado, said hundreds of thousands of Coloradans assist parents, family and friends, without pay, so they can remain independent and in their own homes. She said many residents can't afford long-term care insurance or don't qualify for Medicaid.

"Caregivers really fill that void that's not being met so that people can age in place and stay in their communities," she said. "It's what people want to do, and it's the best thing to do."

The planning group's next steps include focusing on aging in the justice system, veterans programs, and addressing barriers faced by people of color, LGBTQ and low-income Coloradans. The plan, along with a schedule of upcoming public meetings, is available online at colorado.gov/agingstrategy.

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