Colorado Gerontological Society

Your gift helps us give holiday baskets to 500 needy seniors, advise 1,000 seniors on Medicare and Medicaid, counsel 600 people on senior issues, and award dental, vision, and hearing services to 1,000 seniors. Your partnership with us ensures our ability to provide free assistance to seniors.

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Telephone Buddy Program

Class

Public, Society Benefit 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens

Description

Are you a senior, or do you know a senior who has felt socially isolated because of the stay-at-home orders issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Do you enjoy talking on the phone and letting people know they have not been forgotten?

The Colorado Gerontological Society (The Society) has launched a Telephone Buddy program to combat the social isolation caused by COVID-19 virus restrictions imposed on seniors. Safe at Home orders in which adults age 60 and over were instructed to stay at home have been especially difficult for individuals in senior living facilities. Many people who live in their own homes or apartments have experienced similar hardships. The result of these social isolation orders is the separation of families and friends from their loved ones.

What is a Telephone Buddy?
A Telephone Buddy is a volunteer who supplies the missing human touch to a home bound older adult.
A Telephone Buddy is the friendly voice of a live person who calls an older adult to check on them, share stories with them, and make sure their needs are being met. A Telephone Buddy helps the older adult feel like they are not forgotten and still have importance and purpose.

What Can I Do if I want a Telephone Buddy to call Me?
Call The Society at 303-333-3482 or toll-free 1-855-293-6911 or 1-855-880-4777 (Spanish) to ask for a Telephone Buddy.

What Can I do if I want to be a Telephone Buddy Volunteer?
Call The Society at one of the three numbers listed immediately above and let The Society know that you would like to be a Telephone Buddy.

You will be contacted by The Society to attend a short Zoom training to learn more about the program, the reporting requirements, and the expectation of the program.

You will then be matched with an older adult from the Denver community, most of whom have received services through other programs of The Society. Team Leaders from The Society screen each older adult to identify their major needs and preferred contact methods.

Once you are assigned, each volunteer will make 1-2 phone calls per week to an older adult to check in on their day-to-day needs and provide a point of human social contact like sharing a memory or discussing current events. Volunteers make their phone calls on their own schedule, using whatever method is most convenient for the volunteer and the older adult.

After completing the call, the volunteer completes a simple follow-up report to a Team Leader with The Society. This allows The Society to follow-up on any special needs and help connect the older adult to community services and programs, including those of The Society if necessary.

If you are looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity through the COVID-19 pandemic, be one of our Telephone Buddies.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

- We attract enough Telephone Buddy volunteers to match with older adults desiring phone calls.
- The Telephone Buddies feel that they are meeting the needs of the older adults they call.
- The older adults indicate that they are happy with the calls they receive through the program.
- The need for continuing the program will be evaluated on a continuing basis as long as the COVID-19 Safe at Home restrictions are in place, we have older adults desiring the calls, and we have volunteers willing to act as Telephone Buddies.

Online Senior Resource Guidebook

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Families
Veterans

Description

Need to simplify or downsize your house of 37 years but aren't sure where you would like to continue living independently afterwards? Concerned about how you, as a resident of Wisconsin, can help your parents in Colorado find a safer place to live without having to travel to Colorado? Is it time to admit that your dad would be better off receiving the more intensive care offered in a skilled nursing home situation but neither of you have any idea about how to start the search for his new home? Or, have you always heard the terms Medicare and Medicaid and wondered if they were basically the same? Have you been asked if you have completed any Advance Directives but really were not sure what they were?

For 28 years, The Society has compiled, published, and distributed statewide the Senior Resource Guidebook to provide essential information for older adults that would answer questions such as these. Now, no matter where you are, if you have access to the internet, you can find this information online in an easy to use format that is searchable on price, services, payer source, and more.

If you are not sure where to begin your research or need to narrow your research to those areas you are most interested in, you can use one of the most important features of the Guidebook: a series of checklists that help older adults and their families "ask the right questions" to identify and get the services they need. The online site also features a screening questionnaire to guide you to the services that you should consider when making your decision.

Currently, the housing and home care sections from the Senior Resource Guide are now online in a searchable format. The Online Guide is updated frequently and features comparison tools to help you choose the right service provider for your needs. Check it out at senioranswers.org/guide.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We anticipate the online usage will increase as we promote the online version to both facilities and potential users. We will be monitoring web metrics as well as conducting satisfaction surveys. The goal is to make the online Guidebook user-friendly with current information available at any time and from any location (i.e., your home, your cell phone, laptop, etc.) to help older adults and their loved ones find the right services and supports at their convenience.

Health Literacy Program

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Ethnic/Racial Minorities
Poor, Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent

Description

Do you know the difference between a deductible and a co-pay? Between Original Medicare coverage and Medicare Advantage plans? What co-insurance is? Is it true that many times you must pay both a deductible and a co-pay before your health insurance will cover its portion? If you're a senior and are uncertain about answers to any of these questions, this program can help!

Health care and the terms used in health care have become increasingly complex and difficult to understand. Without knowing the meaning or significance of basic terms used in insurance and health care, you as a senior are at a distinct disadvantage in making informed decisions about your health care options and understanding how much money you will have to pay as a result of those decisions.

You can overcome this lack of knowledge. The Society has developed specialized health literacy materials for seniors who have a variety of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. These materials define insurance and health care terms in language that is easy for seniors and family members of all educational backgrounds to understand. The printed materials are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian. The supplemental web-based videos are available in English and Spanish and can be accessed on smart phones, computers, and tablets. Call The Society if you could benefit from these materials.












































































Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

The Society has introduced and distributed these materials at senior events statewide. Our goal is to continue distributing these health literacy materials even though the outreach and educational events that we had used as distribution opportunities have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 flu pandemic. We continue to promote these materials through our social media and print outreach.

Latino Services Division

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage
Immigrants, Newcomers, Refuges
People/Families of People with Health Conditions

Description

Latino Services Division

The Society's Latino Services Division provides cultural and person-centered services to the growing Latino older adult population. Headed by a bi-lingual Director, the program serves Latino older adults by (1) increasing access to advance care planning, benefits, services, and programs for older adults and (2) increasing the knowledge, capacity and skill of community professionals serving Latino older adults with training and support from The Society.

Advance Care Planning: Latino Elders and their Families

- The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of Latino elders and their families who are able to actively and confidently make their health and health care decisions, including Advance Care planning, based on accurate knowledge.

Helping Latino Older Adults Access Benefits

The goal of this initiative is to increase access of Latino older adults to benefits, programs and services available for older adults including vision, hearing and dental services. 21% of the individuals served were Latinos. Using a Community Democracy approach The Society engages directly in the Latino communities in both rural and urban Colorado to learn from and contribute to what is working there, to "ground-truth" existing and emerging knowledge, and to capture stories, practices and processes to increase access to benefits, programs, and services.


For more information on these and other Society education events, visit our website at https://www.senioranswers.org/events/














































Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Public recognition of The Society's Latino Services Division and its Director

Engagement with and provision of services to Latino older adults.

Continuation of training and educational materials in English and Spanish:
- Health Insurance Literacy videos,
- Health Insurance Literacy Toolkit, and
- Promotional materials/fliers about resources and educational opportunities for Latino older adults and their families
- Vision, hearing and dental services
- Support of Latino older adults engaged in Advance Care planning
- Collaboration and partnership with other agencies serving Latino older adults







Salute to Seniors, A Virtual Senior Expo

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General

Description


What is The Salute?
Colorado's largest and longest running (32 years) annual senior-focused information, resource, and entertainment event sponsored by the Society. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salute
switched in 2020 from being an in-person event at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver to a virtual event accessed online from the comfort of your home. It continued as a virtual event for the 2021 Salute.

Theme of 2021 Salute
Roaring into the 2020's
Living Longer
Living Healthier
Living Life to the Fullest

Dates and Location
Two days of fun and laughter over lunch from the comfort of your home
Friday and Saturday, August 13 and 14, 2021,
11 AM to 1 PM

Information, Education, Resources, and Entertainment offered both days
- Welcome from Mitch Jelniker and Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera
- Entertainment including:
- Hazel Miller and the Collective,
- Black Iris Collective Trio,
- After Midnight Band,
- Central City Opera, and
- the 1920's Car Show from the Forney Museum of Transportation
- Virtual Resource Fair
- "3S's of Climate Change" by Scott Denning, atmospheric science professor, CSU
- "From Bridges to Broadband" presentation, John Henderson, c0-founder of Active Minds
- Prize Raffles

SAVE THE DATE

The 33rd ANNUAL SALUTE TO SENIORS returns to an in-person event
(pending the CDC guidelines for large events)
July 9, 2022
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Colorado Convention Center
Call 303-333-3482 for more information and details





Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

1. Over 950 registered for our 2020 first virtual Salute event
2. Overwhelmingly positive input about 2020 and 2021 virtual events from both exhibitors and attendees
3. Continued strong sponsorship sign-ups from year to year
4. Continued year-to-year expressions of interest in event, such as requests for information about the next year's Salute

Educational Offerings for Professionals and Seniors

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Families
General Public

Description

Are you thinking of opening or operating an assisted living facility? Already work in the long term care industry and need to update your skills? Not sure if you are a mandatory reporter of elder abuse ?

The Colorado Gerontological Society (The Society) has a class for you! The Society has provided training classes and information programs annually reaching more than 500 aging professionals with the goal of promoting high standards in the field of aging. We have specifically concentrated on improving the quality of care as well as the quality of life for residents in long term care, especially those who reside in assisted living. We have offered general training and information programs as well as more targeted topical trainings when specific narrow issues need to be addressed. These courses have typically been offered in formal classroom type situations. However, these educational offerings have been completely revamped to be taught in virtual learning programs as noted below.

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. Seven virtual educational events were held in 2020 directed at top managers, middle management, and front line workers to ensure state-of-the-art service delivery to meet the ongoing needs of older adults.
Over 475 individuals throughout Colorado were able to attend at least one of the virtual events. aff or community experts, these virtual events provide current information to metro area professionals on issues and changes facing older adults and how those changes could impact the delivery of services to those older adults.

- Patient Advocacy Leadership Summit (PALS)
- annual round table training for advocates working on behalf of older adults organized and hosted by The Society

The following Targeted Training and Information Programs are now offered in a virtual classroom situation:

- Assisted Living Owner/Administrator Training

- The Colorado Gerontological Society is a certified provider of the 40-hour Assisted Living Facility Administrator Training required for licensure of assisted living facilities in Colorado. This training meets the content as well as the competency exam requirements of the regulations that were implemented July 1, 2018.

- Quality Management/Quality Assurance Assistance and Consultation Services for Small Assisted Living Facilities

- Onsite review of existing policies and procedures in compliance with the new rules, quality management training, application for new licensure, assistance with waivers for non-compliant buildings and associated needs, and interim oversight of residences whose license was not in full compliance with the existing regulations.

- Health First Colorado Training for Professionals

- Specialized workshop that focuses on maximizing Health First Colorado (aka Medicaid) application approval rates

- Medicare for Professionals

- Furnishes community professionals with a firm understanding of what the Medicare program is and its relationship to Medicaid

- Trainings for Assisted Living Facility Staff

- Covers regulations governing Health First Colorado and Chapter 7 regulations applicable to assisted living facilities

- Aging in Place Successfully (NEW in 2020 - 2021 for professionals and seniors)

- Covers, among other topics:
- Best Practices When you Need Home Repairs
- Assessing your Home for Fall Risks
- Is a Reverse Mortgage a good Fit for You?
- Property Taxes, Homestead Exemptions, Rebates, and Deferrals
- Keeping a Dementia Family Member in your Home

- Advance Care Planning Webinars (for professionals and seniors)

- Individual videos in this YouTube playlist are designed to help you learn about Advance Care Planning, the Advance Directives available and how to complete them using best practices after
understanding yow your situation impacts your overall planning.

- The following topics are covered in the videos:
- Advance Directives During and Post Covid-19
- How to Complete your Medical Durable Power of Attorney: Step-by-Step Tutorial
- How to Complete your Living Will
- Senior Answers Podcast: Psychiatric Advance Directive
- Advance Directives or Doctor's Orders
- Financial Advance Directives
- Complete your Financial Power of Attorney
- Legal Guardianship and Conservatorship
- Last Will and Testament

- Wednesday Lunch and Learn Sessions (NEW in 2021) (for professionals and seniors)

- The Society is offering Wednesday Lunch and Learn virtual sessions to help Medicare beneficiaries gain more understanding of specialized topics to include:

- How to Select a Prescription Drug Plan
- Choosing a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement
- Coordinating Medicare and Medicaid Benefits
- How to Use Telehealth to Meet your Health Care Needs


For up-to-date information on classes offered to professionals in the field of aging and seniors, please visit The Society's website, www.senioranswers.org or call our office at 303-333-3482.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Evidences of program success include: above average or excellent ratings on class satisfaction surveys, the number of attendees from one class who enroll in other classes offered by The Society, the number of new and returning attendees at briefings, and invitations to train staff in other community-based agencies.

Senior Answers and Services Dental, Hearing, and Vision Programs

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Female Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Male Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent

Description

Are your family members and friends tired of having to repeat a conversation to you because you could not hear what was said?
Have you recently had trouble reading the label on your prescription?
Does your 12 year old denture hurt your mouth but you don't have the money to go to the dentist?

It's possible that the Colorado Gerontological Society (The Society) can help you. We administer three programs that provide limited financial assistance to Denver metro area seniors for basic hearing, vision, and dental care.

Funding Sources for Programs
- These programs are funded through grants and contracts from:
- the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG)
- DRCOG is funded under the federal Older American Act (OAA) and the state
Older Coloradoans Fund
- the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing
- Additional support is provided from private foundations and donors.
How do individuals apply for the programs?
- Applicants can call The Society's office at 303-333-3482 to request applications.
- Applicants must apply for each program separately if they need the help offered under that program
Who can apply?
- Eligibility for each program, with three exceptions, is the same:
- Must be at least 60 years old, and
- Must resiLa Plata
Mde in one of the following counties to receive vision and/or hearing help:
Adams
Arapahoe
Broomfield
Clear Creek
Denver
Douglas
Gilpin
Jefferson
- First exception for dental applicants as a result of grant expansion:
- Dental applicants may reside in any one of the 64 Colorado counties to qualify for dental work:
- Second exception for dental applicants:
- Dental applicants cannot have any other dental coverage, either from Health First Colorado (Medicaid) or from a stand alone dental policy,
- Third exception for dental applicants:
- Dental applicants cannot have incomes greater than 250% of the federal poverty level (for a single individual - $2,683 per month;
for a married couple - $3,629 per month).

Applications are screened for social and economic need and then prioritized in the order of greatest need as determined by the Older American Act guidelines.

If an applicant is approved for work under any of the programs, the applicant receives an initial grant to determine the services needed. The applicant is responsible for finding a provider who will accept the payment approved under the grant as full payment for the services provided under the grant.

The initial Vision grant covers the cost of an exam to determine the prescription needed by the applicant. The initial Hearing grant pays for an exam to evaluate the applicant's audiometric deficiencies. The initial Dental grant pays for an exam and x-ray to evaluate the services needed.

Once the initial exam is complete, the service provider forwards a proposed treatment plan to The Society for review and approval. Once the treatment plan is approved, The Society notifies both the applicant and the service provider and the approved work under the grant can proceed. The Society pays the service provider directly upon completion of the approved services.

Each program has limitations as to what is covered under the grant and the costs allowed for each covered service. For example, the Vision Program does not cover tints, progressive lenses, contact lenses, scratch coating or direct eye treatment of any kind. The maximum grant award is $265 to pay for frames and lenses up to trifocals. The Hearing Program pays up to $765 per hearing aide and $85 per molding, if necessary. The Dental Program covers full and partial dentures, including immediate dentures, both amalgam and composite fillings, extractions, relines, and cleanings. The Society's grant program does not pay for crowns, root canals, fixed bridges or implants.

Although all three programs generally have wait lists, we encourage all interested or needy seniors to apply. More information on the programs or information for providers interested in signing up for any of the programs is available at 303-333-3482.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Satisfaction Surveys for each of the three programs are conducted annually by means of a postage paid anonymous postcard survey. Survey results for each of the three programs have always shown at least a 95% satisfaction rate for the services received under the grants.

Holiday Baskets for Seniors

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Female Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Male Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent

Description

As part of our commitment to serving those with the most needs in our community, The Society annually organizes a food drive to fill at least 200 baskets with food and presents for low-income seniors who have no friends or family in the area and who will be spending the holidays alone. The value of each basket is at least $125.00 in food for a holiday meal and a gift in addition to basic food pantry, personal hygiene, and paper product items.

Schools, businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, churches, and individual volunteers are all invited to participate in this event. The holiday baskets provide encouragement and help to seniors in what can be a tough and lonely season.

Under normal circumstances, we begin collecting food in September and start accepting applications and referrals for recipients of the baskets in November. Assembling and distribution of the baskets occurs in December. We use volunteers to help collect, sort, sack/box the food, deliver the food baskets, donate money, or just be a general volunteer in this project. Again this year, 2021, we will be modifying our usual processes in order to comply with COVID-19 social contact and distancing requirements. Please contact us at 303-333-3482 if you are interested in volunteering or visit our website, www.senioranswers.org, click on the "HOW WE HELP" section and then go to the Holiday Baskets column for additional information on the event and how you can get involved. Historically, this program has been a great activity for families, service groups, and everyone else to get into the holiday spirit!

We deliver baskets to seniors who: (1) are low-income, (2) will be alone on Christmas or other holiday, and (3) live within the following boundaries (please note exceptions may be made at our discretion alone):
• South of 120th Avenue
• North of County Line Road
• East of Union Blvd
• West of Tower Road

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Receipt of overwhelmingly positive testimonials from recipients and volunteers; willingness of volunteers and donors to participate each year.

Medicare and Medicaid Counseling

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Ethnic/Racial Minorities - General
Female Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Male Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

Is your Medicare Part D drug plan still a good fit for you?
What is the difference between a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement plan?
What does the term "original Medicare" mean?

If you are unsure about the answers to any of the above questions, you should join the over 1,000 seniors throughout Colorado who each fall participate in the virtual educational programs the Society offers during its Medicare Monday events or receive individual Medicare/Medicaid counseling by the Society's staff.

Target audience
- Individuals who are eligible to enroll in Medicare
- Individuals who are already enrolled in Medicare

Purpose of virtual Medicare Monday workshops
To give seniors the most current information available on the yearly changes in Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D so they can make informed decisions during the annual Medicare open enrollment period

Topics covered during these sessions include:
- Annual changes in the Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays
- Reviews of the Part D prescription plans to be offered for the coming year
- Eligibility and enrollment help for Medicare Savings Programs and the Extra Help program (programs designed to help low income Medicare recipients with Part B and D costs)
- How to compare the benefits of Medicare Supplement plans against Medicare Advantage plans.

Locations of Medicare Monday workshops
Before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, these sessions were offered in easily accessible locations throughout Colorado. In order to comply with COVID-19 social contact and distancing
requirements, we are offering these presentations virtually. We publicize our virtual Medicare Monday events on our
website, senioranswers.org, and in senior and community publications and newspapers each fall. You can also call The Society at 303-333-3482 for information.


Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Evidence of program success has included: testimonial letters submitted by attendees at our educational events, requests from seniors and senior housing managers for Medicare/Medicaid educational events at their facilities, referrals for Medicare/Medicaid counseling, counseling records, and attendance records. Additional seminars were provided to Medicare beneficiaries upon request.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.