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  Where Are They Now?
Colorado’s senior population growing

By Joseph Rios

Colorado’s government conducted a study in 2010 regarding aging and poverty in the state. At the time of the study, Colorado’s government found that the state has the 4th lowest share in the country of people over the age of 65. The study also found that 155 Coloradans a day will turn 65 until 2020, of an merease 125 percent.

Aging causes other problems besides health issues. Many senior citizen groups are at risk of living in poverty. The study found that poverty rates increased amongst groups like foreign-born seniors, seniors that haven’t been married, divorced and Hispanic seniors. The Census Bureau estimated that one in six elderly Americans is Latino.

Medicare is often the only health insurance coverage that Latinos will have in their lives, according to a report for the Health Care Financing Administration. The program offers senior citizens an opportunity to have universal coverage. However, it appears that Latinos do not take full advantage of the program.

This issue stems from multiple factors. Those factors mainly revolve around a lack of knowledge about Medicare and its benefits.

Latino elders differ from non-Hispanic whites in a variety of ways aside from heritage. Latino elders are found to be less educated and are less likely to receive Social Security payments than whites.

The City of Denver’s government currently has an Office on Aging. The office serves Denver’s senior citizen community through advocacy, and enhancement of services and empowerment. The office offers resources for everybody, regardless of age.

“As a city, we must consider policies that promote quality of life and livable communities. We must meet the responsibilities associated with the upcoming demographic changes and ensure that Denver is the best city in which to be and grow older,” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to the Office on Aging.

Another way the City of Denver is looking to help senior citizens is by partnering with Kavod Senior Life. Denver and Kavod Senior Life are looking to educate seniors on fixed incomes about financial safety and stability through the Financially Savvy Seniors program.

“Financial literacy is key for our most vulnerable folks, especially seniors, many of whom live on a fixed income,” said Erick Soliván in a statement. Soliván is the Executive Director of the Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE).

Seniors will have an opportunity to take classes regarding money-life balance, cash flow, saving, debt and credit. The classes will last 12 months and people involved in the program will receive 30-minute one-on-one coaching sessions during the program.

“A fully integrated program like this goes beyond planning for retirement, and allows seniors the opportunity to live healthier lives through financial empowerment,” Soliván said in a statement.

According to the city of Denver, seniors are typically targeted by financial scammers and people who are looking to take their money without their knowledge.

“This program will create a focus for seniors to control their financial future while giving them the knowledge and skills to protect themselves against financial predators,” said Perla Gheiler in a statement. Gheiler is the Director of Denver’s Office on Aging.





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