The Colorado Center for Aging has as its mission to create forums and trainings for older Coloradans to lift their voice, and to educate and inform the public, community leaders and elected officials on issues impacting the health and well-being of older Coloradans.  For this year’s legislative session in Colorado, we have eight areas of focus:

Affordable Housing:

ensuring that additional funding and financing for new and existing affordable housing prioritizes communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including older Coloradans, addressing homelessness, renter and home ownership issues, and funding for supportive services, and home modification and rehabilitation; enhancing protections for residents of homeowners’ associations and mobile home parks.  [Approximately 60% of older Coloradans live within HOAs.] 

Age Discrimination:

combating discrimination in employment and volunteer opportunities based on age.  [In 2020, there were approximately 1.2 million Coloradans over the age of sixty, with ~73% of this population looking for full- or part-time employment.  The resource pool is large, experienced, and eager to share through employment and/or volunteer activities.]

Broadband:

move toward universal access (particularly rural and frontier counties), affordable access for all, and sufficient speeds across all coverage (particularly urban and suburban speed deserts).  [As the pandemic has highlighted, this is important for remote and convenient services such as telehealth, behavioral services, reduced isolation, and education.]

Congregate Care Facilities and Professional Caregiving:

ensuring quality of care, safety, transparency and protecting resident/patient rights, whether receiving care in a facility or at-home.  

Health Care:

increasing providers with geriatric specialty; ensuring allowances for chronic pain and how to approach opioid prescription restrictions for people on Medicaid; reducing costs of prescription drugs; workplace protections and compensation increases for the direct care workforce. 

Modernization of the Older Coloradans Act (HB22-1035):

preparing the State for the aging of the population by elevating existing aging programs, promoting an “aging lens” in all areas of State government, establishing sufficient autonomy and authority for policy development and advocacy, coordinating, and collaborating with a diversity of stakeholders, and ensuring sustainable funding and adequate staffing.  [There will be a companion bill during the 2023 session dealing more broadly with sustainable funding for services, including for the Area Agencies on Aging.] 

Taxation:

ensuring that the voices of older Coloradans are heard in any discussions regarding tax-related programs that affect older Coloradans, including the Senior Property Tax Exemption, Property Tax/Rent/Heat Rebate (PTC Rebate), and the Property Tax Deferral program.  [Also, there are bills being considered that are intended to provide relief for preceptors (writing prescription under supervision of physicians, particularly in remote locations), and to support home sharing options.]

Transportation:

increasing funding for and coordination of transportation services for older Coloradans and persons with disabilities, including non-emergency medical transportation, non-medical transportation, and transportation to dialysis appointments.

We welcome your continuing participation and involvement with the Colorado Center for Aging.  Thank you for your support past, present and future, as we continue to “raise the voice” of older Coloradans and build a better Colorado for us all!

Visit us at ColoradoCenterForAging.org