Wed Nov 23rd, 2016
The Southern Ute Drum
The Colorado Commission on Aging is a commission appointment by Colorado Governor John Hicklenooper that conducts studies of problems of the states elderly, while assisting government and private agencies in coordinating their efforts on behalf of the aging and aged in order to ensure that effects are efficient and non-duplicative on the state’s older people. The commission promotes and assists in the establishment of local programs and services for the elderly, with the addition of conducting promotional activities/programs of public education on the complications of the elderly.
Debra Herrera, Division Director of the Ignacio Senior Center, has been appointed as a commission member of the Colorado Commission on Aging and hopes to spread awareness to commission representatives in Denver about the needs of seniors in Ignacio.
“Being appointed to this position has been a totally different world,” she said. “When I see what is done in the larger communities, the things they do in terms of what we do here are totally different. Some communities don’t do a “Meals on Wheels” like we do here, and we have 50 clients that we deliver to a day. The congregate meals in the cities are going down for their clients, whereas the numbers here in our areas are not going down. We work with our seniors as efficiently as we can, but we still know there’s a lot more that needs to get done.”
Herrera stated that the commission meets six times a year, where guests speakers from the state speak and give ideas on what can be brought to the local community. Additionally, the committee hosts two events, the Centenarian Celebration and Alan Buckingham Award, both of which honor individuals who have provided ongoing care and courtesy to the elderly for a number of years.
“Most of the meetings we host are held in Denver, but the Centenarian Celebration and Alan Buckingham move around to different parts of the state. Last year the Centenarian was held in Durango where 12 individuals were awarded and received a special certificate from [Governor Hickenlooper].”
According to the Colorado Commission on Aging’s website, the state of Colorado has one of fastest growing aging populations in the U.S. It has been evaluated that there will be more than 1,350,000 older adults age 60 years and older by the year 2021. From the years 2011 to 2010, the number of older adults in Colorado could reach to 54 percent. By the year 2050, the Census Bureau predicts there will be over 850,000 centenarians in the United States, which is also the fastest growing segment of the American population. The U.S. additionally predicts that by the year 2050, over two million people in the world will be 100 years or older.