Senior Access Points of Larimer County
Local website a lifeline for senior resources
by Kate Braniff
Jim, a 73-year-old retired Fort Collins resident, was frustrated that his friend of 38 years was developing dementia and living in an unsafe environment. As the dementia worsened, so did the man’s quality of life. Jim didn’t know where to turn and felt powerless to help. Using persistence and information scattered here and there on the internet, he eventually tracked down the right assistance for his friend.
“There’s definitely great resources out there, but it’s a matter of being able to find them,” Jim says.
And finding them isn’t always easy. Would you know where to go if a crisis happened to you or an older loved one? If the answer is “no,” you’re not alone. A 2016 survey revealed most people didn’t know where to find local aging-related resources in Larimer County. Many residents search the internet but can’t find reliable, up-to-date information on area services.
Enter Senior Access Points of Larimer County, a county-wide coalition and website (larimerseniors.org) that connects older adults, their loved ones, and caregivers with information specific to Larimer County. The coalition is led by Larimer County CSU Extension and includes the Larimer County Office on Aging (LCOA), the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities, and the Colorado State University Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
“We provide credible and reliable resources to empower older adults with information on aging well in Larimer County,” says Cheryl Noble, project coordinator for Senior Access Points.
Larimerseniors.org has a lot of helpful information about topics on aging including:
- Caregiver Support
- Memory and Dementia Care
- Housing and Home Maintenance
- Legal and Financial
- Social, Connection, and Community Engagement
The website points users in the right direction to access resources in the county and helps direct people to the Office on Aging, Noble notes.
Mark Sleeter, program supervisor for Aging and Disability Resources for Colorado (ADRC), says that they frequently receive calls from adult children who live in other states.
“Adult children visit their aging parents and realize there’s been a decline in their physical and mental functioning,” says Sleeter. “Our staff will work with the adult child and the aging parent to gather information about their situation.” The local ADRC program, part of the county’s Office on Aging, then provides education and appropriate resources about long-term services and support options for older adults and adults with disabilities
For those wanting to speak to someone, the phone number on the website (970-498-7740) goes directly to LCOA where individuals can talk with an Options counselor who will tailor the resources to their specific situation.
Senior Access Points volunteers, called Ambassadors, educate the community about larimerseniors.org. They host informational booths at farmer’s markets, local businesses, and other events. Their outreach efforts led to 5,973 new website users in 2021, with the most viewed page being transportation.
As for Jim, his friend is now in safe hands and received the help he needed. “Had I known about Senior Access Points, it would’ve made things so much easier.”
|For more information, or to volunteer, contact:|
|Senior Access Points
970-498-7740 (to reach an Options counselor from Larimer County Office on Aging)
|Larimer County Office on Aging
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