Colorado Gerontological Society Turns 40 During COVID-19
By Eileen Doherty, MS ~
Denver, Colo – The founders of the Colorado Gerontological Society could not have imagined COVID-19 in 2020 on June 8, 1980 when the official documents were delivered in the U.S. Mail, now known as snail mail, confirming the incorporation of a new organization to provide services to professionals in aging. The Society provided a forum for training, research, and advancement by creating new standards for delivery of services to older adults.
Within a few months, The Society sponsored the first annual professional conference with more than 100 participants. By April 1982, the Society hired an Executive Director, namely, myself, Eileen Doherty. With a vision to serve as a strong voice, the community was invited to become members.
Today I continue as the Executive Director. Services have expanded to thousands of older adults who receive help with vision, dental and hearing grants. No stranger to policy, The Society is a key influencer at the local, state and national level, frequently providing expert testimony, advocating for services, or sharing knowledge. The Society continues to innovate in delivering service while embracing technology in the 21st century. Public, private and non-profit partnerships promote improved care and services.
With a small staff, services are available in all four corners of the State through technology. Training and consulting services now come to you via our website, computers, social media, and the cloud. But you can also receive our newsletter in your mailbox or visit your local library and pick up the Colorado Senior Resource Guidebook.
The reach is deliberate – urban, rural, small town, GLBTQIA, Latinx, Black, Asian, Native American and White – we advocate and embrace anyone age 60 and over and their family. We actively plan and seek resources to serve the entire spectrum of older adults. Hundreds of individuals visit our website each day, including the most recent launch of an Online Housing and Home Care Guide to help older adults, families, and service providers find information on services, prices, vacancies, and amenities.
We are a trusted source of information. Older adults confide in our counselors for help to find food when they have nothing to eat. They share their most intimate fears when they need a helping hand or just someone to listen. Health equity is always on our mind.
In the times of COVID-19, our office stayed open helping older adults, families, and those serving older adults during the most stressful time in our recent history. To meet the burgeoning new demands, we are offering new programs, new delivery systems, and new information. We can find you a Telephone Buddy. Training programs on Zoom are now tutorials, skills based, and fun.
Planning is underway for the Salute to Seniors on August 21 and 22, 2020 which will be two days of virtual fun, entertainment and resources. Watch from the privacy of your home wherever you live on your computer or laptop, tablet, or IPhone.
The Society is a strong voice for older adults, families and professionals. Let us know if you need help to register with the Census online, by phone or to mail in your paper form. Visit us at www.senioranswers.org or call us at 303-333-3482 or 1-855-293-6911 or 1-855-880-4777 (Spanish).
Eileen Doherty, MS is the Executive Director of the Colorado Gerontological Society. Her areas of expertise include management and administration of nonprofit organizations, education and training on issues related to older adults, advocacy and policy development on senior issues, and clinical practice in working with seniors and families to manage their lives in the later years. She has been the Director of the Society since 1982. She teaches Nonprofit Management for Fort Hays State University.