The Colorado Gerontological Society improves the quality of life for older adults in Colorado by:
- providing education,
- disseminating information,
- advancing the development of public policy,
- enhancing communication, and
- promoting high standards in the field of aging,
as well as promoting independence and providing services to older adults and their families.
Organized in 1980 as a not-for-profit, the mission of the Colorado Gerontological Society (The Society) is to provide information, education and training, advocacy and public policy, and services to those who serve older adults and to older adults and their families. Over the course of the years since 1980, The Society has launched and successfully implemented a significant number of programs. Some of these include:
1. Senior Issues Briefings and Network North meetings, in-person monthly professional education programs in Denver and Boulder offered since 1982, were replaced in 2020 by the virtual Current Events series. Over
479 individuals throughout Colorado were able to participate in at least one of the seven virtual educational events.
2. The Telephone Buddy Program was developed in 2020 to respond to the social isolation, depression, and loneliness that many older adults experienced as a result of the Stay-at-Home orders issued during the
Pandemic. 135 volunteers were recruited from corporate and community-based volunteer programs as well as older adults whose normal social and civic activities had been suspended due to the pandemic. These
volunteers called once or twice a week to more than 150 older adults living in their own homes to check on the well-being of the older adult and share experiences. Funding has been received to continue the
program beyond the pandemic.
3. Publication and distribution of hard copies of Senior Resource Guidebook since 1992. 20,000 copies were distributed in 2019-2020.
4. The Society continues to be a leader in offering training, technical assistance, and consultation services for long term care professionals and front line staff. The 40 hour administrator training program which The
Society has offered for more than 25 years and the 16 hour supplementary training program have been revamped as virtual programs, including the competency exam. In 2020, The Society also began offering
technical assistance and consultation services addressing a variety of topics impacting the improvement of the quality of care and quality of life for residents in long term care, especially for those who reside in
assisted living. 587 individuals were able to participate in at least one of the 12 webinars and 8 virtual trainings The Society offered.
5. Annual delivery since 1988 of at least 200 holiday baskets to low income seniors. Due to the generosity of community and corporate donors, 107 volunteer teams delivered 532 baskets in 2020.
6. Sponsor of the Salute to Seniors since 1990. The Salute is a senior expo; 1300 older adults and families attended in person in 2019. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we offered the Salute as a virtual
online event for the first time with over 950 registered individuals. We were able to offer the Salute again virtually in 2021.
7. Administrator of vision and hearing grants to seniors since 2007. More than 544 individuals were served in FY 2020-21 using $1,000,000 in grant awards.
8. Administrator of dental grants to seniors since 1993. The Society used more than $300,000 in grant funding to provide dental services to 205 individuals in FY 2020-21.
9. Counseling, referral services, and advocacy on aging issues since 1982. Issues The Society frequently faced in helping older adults in 2020 often resulted from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
10. Medicare/Medicaid counseling and outreach since 1988 including Medicare Monday consumer education programs throughout the state. Almost 800 individuals throughout Colorado attended one of the 11 virtual
Medicare Monday events in 2020.
11. Expanded services in 2010 to serve Latino elders with specialized outreach for benefits, advance care planning, and program development. More than 862 Latino seniors received advance care planning education
and services in 2018. In 2019, expanded programming to better meet the needs of African American older adults based on results of focus group, to include hosting Medicare Monday event in densely populated
African American community center.
12. COVID-19 provided The Society with the opportunity to self-assess and evaluate its day-to-day operations. The Society fosters a philosophy of ensuring diversity and inclusion, as well as cultural and linguistic
appropriateness across all areas of its work. Evidence based person-and-family centered service delivery approaches, self-assessment, engagement of community in design of programs and data driven service
delivery ensure that services meet the identified needs and focus on quality. The Society is dedicated to serving all older adults, meeting them where they are to remove barriers to access and advocate for the
removal of barriers when necessary.
13. Publication of STA-Well News, a regular consumer publication that is distributed to 27,000 households in Colorado since 1974 (publication was originally distributed by Senior Answers and Services, an
organization whose functions were merged with the Colorado Gerontological Society in 2008).
14. Columnist for senior newspapers with articles on senior issues since 1997. Monthly distribution of more than 300,000 copies by the various newspapers in the state.
15. The Society's senior-friendly website, www.senioranswers.org, had 16,775 users, 28,111 page views, and 19,516 sessions in 2020. Originally developed in 2000 and upgraded several times since then, the website
is getting a new look in 2021 compliments of the Schwab Pro Bono Challenge project and a team of volunteers and consultants. The goal is to enhance the user experience at the website through a better site map,
social media interface, and menus among other improvements.
16. Eileen Doherty, the Executive Director, has been actively involved in public policy, including working with the legislature and regulatory boards since 1977. She has authored numerous pieces of legislation and
regulations that helped to improve the lives of seniors.
I wonder if you have any idea of how very much I love and appreciate all the time you spend organizing and putting together, collecting donations and delivering these wonderful gift bags. Everything I love and need. I haven't had a tangerine or an apple for over 6 years, I think. I will be 76 on December 29 and I am pretty disabled and deaf on one side due to a viral infection I got when I deployed as a volunteer for the State of Colorado Emergency Animal team during the Waldo Canyon fires. The doctor thought I would get my hearing back, but it never happened, sadly. It's hard to believe that there are so many angels on this earth, but there are and that's what all of you are. All my love and gratitude. P.S. I was praying for stove top stuffing and bananas! Yay! Kris and 3 kittens
The hearing aids help me to communicate better and be able to hear! The dentures helped me to eat well again. The holiday basket gave me food on my table. Thank you very much for you help. Felix
I want to thank you for the Buddy Program. My husband, David, looks forward to the call each week from his Telephone Buddy, Katie. Few people realize how lonely older people become when they develop dementia. Many of our friends have simply "dropped off" since David is no longer able to carry on interesting conversation and he gets tired of talking to me. The buddy call has been something that belongs just to him, and it is a source of personal encouragement. Thanks for offering this opportunity for friendship to him. Yesterday we celebrated our 47th wedding anniversary. We were together with our children and grandchildren on Easter Sunday and had a wonderful time. Sincerely, Dorothy
PC is awesome - without CGS help I would not have any benefits or programs. CS
You gave me a chance. Nobody could help me get hearing devices. I am a professional symphony violinist so, you helped me recover my life long pursuit of music and my violin. Kathleen
I can now hear my grandkids laughter, the birds sing and the phone ring! Best of all, with my new dentures, I can eat all the food I get at the food bank, I am already up to 104 pounds! Anonymous
No better place to get help for seniors. One great place. Thanks, R
My father was the recipient of a $1,750 hearing aid grant. My dad is 93 years old and the grant was extremely helpful in getting new hearing aids.
Thank you to you and your wonderful organization you work for.
My glasses were lost when I visited the emergency room and now my glasses have been replaced and I can see once again. Phyllis
Just want to say "Thanks a million for the wonderful food, gifts, and everything in the holiday basket you gave me Saturday - it is all so very much appreciated. You made my Christmas so very much better. I love everything, appreciate everything, and love you all. Thanks again for all you gave me - it will help me so very much. Thank you very much - 3 sweet young people" who delivered it all - God Bless you all. I will have a great Christmas - thanks to all of you - who gave me so very much! I can never thank you enough for all you did for me - God Bless You All for making my Christmas so special. I'm just an old, lonely 77-year-old lady, who will always love you all for being so generous. Love, Orlane
I am one of your grateful recipients of the Senior Dental Grant. I write to express deep appreciation to you and the Society, and to tell you that I have completed my treatment. I now have a new smile and a deep cleaning thanks to you...
Dear Mrs. D,
I cannot express my gratitude enough as to how much I am so thankful at the way you and your organization (CGS) have been God sent for having extensive dental work for myself. Thank you!
I cannot remember the dentist name (Dr. David) however he was a gentleman and an exceptional dentist. I thank him and yourself for your help! PL
I could kiss your team. I read the CGS flyer on switching a Plan F Medicare supplement to a plan G. I had previously tried the same and could not get underwritten. CGS made me aware of the Colorado law and I just accomplished the change, with a new plan underwritten thru Aetna, and am saving a net of $23 monthly. Big thanks to you and the team! Matt
Amazing list of many relevant resources and benefits available for seniors in need. All complied and listed categorically. Wonderful outpouring of information. Descriptive and colorful pages of what and where to go - on the spot - I will file this resource information for future questions. Rosalie
Dear Ms. D:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the Colorado Gerontological Society for your generosity in approving my grant application for hearing aids. My life has drastically changed since the doctor from the Hearing Rehab Center fitted me with my new hearing aids.
For years, I have been unable to distinctly hear conversations in crowds, in restaurants, and other group gatherings including family gatherings. I have a very large family but have not stayed long at any of the large get-togethers because it was difficult to hear specific words without being in direct facial contact with the speaker. So rather than continue to say "Huh?" time after time, I just smiled and nodded. My sons are particularly grateful for my hearing aids!
I retired in July 2019 and have most generally kept to myself and family, but I recently joined the Denver Gem and Mineral Guild and have volunteered to help in the next 3-day gem and mineral show in September. I'm excited because I am a collector; it is my passion. I have joined a couple of DGMG's other groups as well. Another of my new loves is hiking in nature's surroundings where the sights and sounds are truly cherished. This may sound "corny" but it's from the heart.
The hearing aids are one of the most precious gifts I've ever received and I will continue to broaden my horizons in several chosen directions because now my hearing enables me to move forward. Being retired now after working 50 years feels amazing and I'm excited to be able to do so many things and enjoy every minute because I am really involved rather than standing on the outside due to limited hearing.
Thank you all so very, very much, VP
Thank you for the property tax rebate and the food basket. The rebate check helps so much. My Social Security is $350 per month. Kris
Helped me apply for Medicaid. I was totally lost as to what paperwork to submit but the lady help me as very professional and timely. I also appreciated th food boxes. They have helped a lot. Caroline
Thanks to each of you there for the work you do!! It's so very important! The special little touches such as the notes, personal gifts, a piece of candy says you see the public who are in need as real flesh and blood people. Carolyn