Area Agency on Aging helps older adults ‘age well’
By Charmaine Robledo
Communications Specialist, Public Relations and Social Media
Denver Regional Council of Governments ~
Empowering older Coloradans to lead active and healthy lives has been a hallmark of the Area Agency on Aging at the Denver Regional Council of Governments for more than 40 years. The agency believes in diverse and equitable communities; and providing adults 60 and older with the resources and support they need to “age well” ensures a stronger and more vital society. The programs and services the Area Agency on Aging offers include Medicare enrollment counseling, Medicaid Options counseling, case management, disability resources, veteran-directed care, the Ombudsman Program and the Elder Refugee Program.
Currently, the Area Agency on Aging serves eight counties in the Denver region: Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Clear Creek, Douglas, Gilpin and Jefferson. As the designated entity for the eight-county network, the agency provides a comprehensive and coordinated system of care for the region’s older adults and people with disabilities.
“It’s incredible to see the dedication and resourcefulness of everyone who works in the Area Agency on Aging,” said Director Jayla Sanchez-Warren. “We know how important our community outreach is so our aging population can continue to thrive. It can be challenging to navigate all the different programs and services for older adults, so we’re there to walk alongside the people we serve.”
Engagement is key for the Area Agency on Aging at DRCOG. The agency connects with numerous partners and nonprofit organizations to extend its assistance with in-home care, adult day services, legal referrals and access to nutrition and wellness. With trained counselors, community resource specialists and volunteers, the agency is a trusted source of objective information for individuals and caregivers. DRCOG staff also attend community events, educational fairs and health clinics to further their reach.
“Providing outreach in the community is just as important as the services provided to older adults and adults with a disability,” said Fonda Buckles, a community resources manager at the Area Agency on Aging. “People cannot access services they are not aware of. We target outreach efforts to ensure we are reaching all communities, especially those with the greatest need for services.”
Additionally, the agency’s role in advocacy is critical in developing legislation that protects older adults and ensures systemic changes. This year, the agency was proud to support two pieces of legislation Senate Bill 22-185 (Security for Colorado Seniors) to expand funding for health and wellness programs for older Coloradans, and Senate Bill 22-154 to prevent abuse and increase safety in assisted living facilities. Both bills were signed into law in June.
For more information about the Area Agency on Aging and the Denver Regional Council of Governments, visit drcog.org, call 303-480-6700 or email AreaAgencyonAging@drcog.org.