Colorado Senior Connections: Final Reportclick to download
In 2008, the federal Administration on Aging (AoA) awarded the Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado and Jewish Family Service (JFS) a grant to conduct a demonstration project at two sites (Edgewater Plaza and Sheridan Glen) and expand current services at a third site (Berkshires at Lowry) in the Denver metropolitan area. The project, entitled Colorado Senior Connections (CSC), occurs at three naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs). A NORC is an apartment building, complex, or neighborhood where a large portion of the population is made up of older adults who are either aging in place or have migrated in. By 2030, the AoA estimates that there will be 71.5 million people over the age of 65, nearly twice as many as there were in 2000. It seems that the demand for and interest in NORCs is likely to grow as the older adult population increases.
The goal of CSC is to help older adults continue to live independently and to identify, implement, and deliver services to facilitate aging in place. To accomplish that goal, JFS conducted needs assessment surveys at the three sites and offered a variety of programs and services based on the interests of residents. As the needs and wants of the residents changed, JFS dropped or added appropriate programs. The services offered, which vary at the three sites, include special events and parties, a weekly Wellness Clinic, a resident council, volunteer-run clubs (e.g., lunch club, coffee club, cooking classes), personal care assistance, homemaker help, and case management services (e.g., helping residents sign up for benefits).
Undoubtedly, interest in NORCs as an effective method to help the aging U.S. population stay in their homes and live independently will only continue to increase. The ability of multiple organizations to join together, provide seniors with services that are specifically designed for their respective communities, and give them a voice in the process make NORCs a strong policy option. The challenge, of course, will be to find adequate and sustained funding for these valuable programs.
Keyword(s): aging in place
Issues & Focus Areas
- Child Support
- Child Welfare
- Early Childhood & Education
- Economic Security & Healthcare
- Father Engagement & Healthy Relationships
- Gender-Based Violence