The Older Coloradans Program (OCP) was created and funded through legislation passed in 2000. The OCP provides essential services to older adults who need help to remain safely at home and in the community, as well as supports families who are caring for older loved ones. The sixteen AAAs (Area Agencies on Aging) in Colorado receive OCP funds via the State Unit on Aging (Department of Human Services). The AAAs identify unmet needs and gaps in services at the local level. Then, through a competitive process, AAAs award funds to local organizations to provide essential services to older adults and caregivers. Services provided under the OCP are targeted to older adults in greatest need – low-income, minority, rural, and disabled older adults – and caregiving families.

For over thirty years Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) have maximized resources to ensure that essential services are available to older adults. AAAs provide or fund services in five broad categories:

  • Judy contacted the Weld County AAA (Region 2B) when she needed help paying for a vision exam, and they were able to assist through their material aid program. When it was determined that Judy was struggling to complete yard work, she was connected with the AAA’s Chore Services program. Judy later reported that bathing and housekeeping tasks were becoming difficult, so she was connected to homemaker and personal care services. Judy maintained her independence, remained safely in her home, and delayed the need to use Medicaid with the help of her local AAA.
  • Larimer County AAA (Region 2A) met with Francis to assess for homemaker services. These services would help Francis with house cleaning that was difficult for her due to a chronic illness. Francis’ case manager noted that a handrail that was disconnected. After discussion with Francis, the case manager learned that this occurred from a fall when Francis tried to catch herself. Further discussion revealed that Francis had inadequate funds to pay for food and did not have a way to shop for groceries. She had lost weight because she was existing on cereal bars. The case manager made referrals for a service to fix the rail, home delivered meals, and a volunteer grocery service. At the six-month assessment, Francis stated she was able to have people over to visit and her doctor was amazed that she was gaining weight and falling less. Francis was happy, less anxious, and enjoyed daily company that came with the meal delivery.

AAAs help identify services for older adults who need assistance aging in place. Wraparound services improve the lives of older adults with complex needs, as well as the lives of their families. It is the skillful work of AAAs in weaving these services together that allow countless older Coloradans to remain safely in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

Wraparound Services that Help Older Adults Age in Place include:

  • Information and Assistance: access to essential services
  • Community-Based Services: adult day care, dental care, legal assistance, meal programs
  • In-Home Services: Meals-on-Wheels, food shopping, housekeeping, personal care
  • Caregiver Services: information, education, and support for those who are caring for an older adult, including respite or a short break from caregiving responsibilities
  • Ombudsman Services: advocacy for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities

For more information please visit: c4a-colorado.org

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