Age Matters Initiative
Task Force Meeting
October 8, 2008
- Bill Vidal shared that seniors are notorious for not supporting public transit and that this means that we must work on programs which educate seniors about public transit opportunities. Some seniors are afraid to ride the bus/light rail because they do not feel secure or safe; others have not had the opportunity to learn how to do it and so they are unfamiliar with the process; and others find that the bus/light rail station is not within a safe, well lighted, walking distance from their home.
- We must develop areas where people can live and yet be close to stores, libraries, clinics, and are able to use many kinds of mobility options.
- Councilwoman Carol Boigon sees the need for zoning ordinance change to allow more assisted living facilities within the Denver City and County area.
- Some stressed that seniors want to stay in their neighborhoods and in their homes and not move to, or cannot afford to stay in assisted living.
- There was the concerning question, ‘How do we keep seniors as part of families?’
- There was the concern for affordable housing; how does the city assure families can pay property taxes, keep the yard mowed, snow shoveled , trees cut down?
- It was recommended that there be representation on the Revision of the Zoning Ordinance Task Force
- There was the discussion that employers/ supervisors, department heads would have a program where employees would be allowed to have time to care for a senior neighbor, or a parent.
- There was the idea that a program be established, in partnership with RTD, to take grandparents, seniors, etc on the RTD bus/transit so that they could learn to take the trip on their own and with other seniors.
- Councilman Linkhart informed the group that his office receives calls from seniors who want to be involved rather than are in need of services.
- There was the need to get persons to change their habits earlier in life so that “aging well” becomes possible.
- 311 receives a great many calls from seniors. There needs to be a better plan in place for seniors because they do not know who to contact for assistance and 311 refers them to 211 very often.
- Councilwoman Boigon shared an incident that occurred while she was in California. She suggested that a subcommittee be established including police, fire, emergency response and neighborhood inspection with particular interest in senior needs.
- Dolores Martinez distributed a sheet asking task force members and their staff to consider ideas for making a good effort in helping to reach the goal of making Denver to Best place to be and grow older.
- There was the conversation around the idea of applying credits/incentives to employees for involvement in other volunteer programs. Example: “you get a free month’s RTD pass if you teach others how to use the bus/light rail.
- Expand the mixed use areas to all neighborhoods, i.e., the live , work , play model.
- Property rebate/buy down for 100 seniors who volunteer for DPS.
- Recommend zoning changes to accommodate aging issues.
- Set up 311,211,411,911 coordination and connection.
- Go go’s; slow go’s and no go’s
- Isolation of some aging populations lead to depression and non-engagement
- Housing affordability; need and want to stay in their homes.
WHAT ARE SOME ACTION STEPS EACH OF OUR DEPARTMENTS, AGENCIES COULD TAKE TO MOVE THIS PROGRAM FORWARD?
Should the task force select 2-3 major ideas and have all departments and agencies work on the same ones?
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
It was suggested that the task force members would need an “inventory” ; a list of what our departments/agencies are doing now in the area of planning with “aging” in mind. There already is a partial inventory completed and staff will present at the upcoming meeting . Staff will also meet with departments who have not been interviewed.
The task force will also receive the goals, and action steps recommended by the previous study task group.