In 1972 seniors came together to find solutions for critical issues they faced as they aged. Thanks to their initiative, Boulder County RSVP Board Inc., dba Cultivate, joined a growing peer-driven movement to promote self-sufficiency, dignity and concrete solutions. Over the past 48 years, our organization continues to take inspiration from our founders who came together to share their strengths and mitigate their challenges. Cultivate provides unique services, which minimize isolation, meet basic human needs and help prevent unnecessary institutionalization. In 2018, we changed our name to Cultivate and updated our mission: help seniors flourish through active engagement with their community. In 2019, Cultivate's services reached nearly 13% of all Boulder County seniors by serving nearly 7,700 adults over the age of 60 and their family members. Cultivate promotes self-sufficiency, safety and health, despite advancing age or ability. We are an innovative leader in the field of aging services and our Safety Net Services make a true impact on seniors' ability to age in place with support and dignity.
Boulder County is facing a boom in its aging population. According to the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging (BCAAA), Boulder County's population is aging at one of the fastest rates in Colorado. The current estimation is that 13% of Boulder County residents are 65 or older with a projected increase to 20% by 2030. According to the 2018 Boulder County Trends Report, 60% of residents 65 or older have a physical or mental disability and 31% report feeling lonely or isolated.
As our community ages, more and more individuals plan to age in place and look for assistance to remain independent with community support. The Aging in Boulder County: Past, Present, Future Report found that nearly 76% of people aged 65 and older wish to remain in their homes while staying active in the community. Although Boulder County and surrounding economies are booming, many older adults do not benefit directly from this growth. Seniors face increasing medical, housing, utility and other costs and the consequences of rapid urbanization often increase their isolation and vulnerability.
Of those who provide income documentation, 95% of seniors enrolled in Cultivate's services live near or below the poverty level. Through Cultivate's free Safety Net Services, we fill a gap among services that target this vulnerable population and meet seniors' critical needs for food, healthcare, and personal safety. By providing seniors the tools they need to age independently in their homes and communities, we provide a critical resource for older adults who "fall through the cracks" in our communities. What makes Cultivate unique, however, is that not only do we provide direct services to seniors, but we also facilitate the connections that make seniors feel valued and engaged with their community. True to our origin mission, Cultivate builds on the strength of community volunteers, the majority of whom are age 55+ to support their neighbors.