Actionable Aging Policy Agenda

Colorado’s population is rapidly aging. Over the next decade, the number of Coloradans 65 and older is projected to grow by more than 35 percent. This shift impacts our entire community — not just those who are at, over, or near 65. The growing number of older Coloradans impacts our workplaces, which are seeing more workers who either need or want to continue working past the traditional age of retirement; family members who are increasingly asked to provide unpaid care; and our larger economy, which is being shaped by the growing demand for quality, paid health care professionals capable of meeting the evolving needs of our older adults.

We can create a state that works for all Coloradans by intentionally using an age-friendly lens and developing proactive public policies that recognize and meet the needs of our aging residents. That’s why, with support from NextFifty Initiative and in partnership with the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, we created the Actionable Aging Policy Agenda. These research-backed recommendations — developed with feedback from over 80 stakeholders — are intentionally meant to be comprehensive, holistic, and built on ongoing state and local efforts.

Related: Roadmap for Aging in Colorado

Our demographic changes present our state with unique opportunities. We can leverage this shift to build a stronger workforce, more age-friendly communities, and a qualified and well-supported field of direct care providers. But to make these opportunities a reality — and forestall the inevitable challenges which accompany inaction — Colorado policymakers need to act now.

The recommendations described in the Actionable Aging Policy Agenda offer a meaningful, community-informed path forward. Looking ahead, the Bell Policy Center is excited to continue working in partnership with the growing network of organizations across our state dedicated to ensuring older Coloradans, and all those connected to them, have the resources and supports they need to thrive.

Be sure to read our series of briefs that dive into specific issue areas surrounding the Actionable Aging Policy Agenda.

unpaid caregiving
Colorado's Unpaid Caregivers
Providing unpaid care for older adults is often hidden work, overlooked by our state, our businesses, and even unpaid caregivers themselves.
Healthcare professional from the direct care workforce taking an elderly woman's blood pressure in a home setting in Colorado.
Colorado's Direct Care Workforce
As Colorado ages, demand for these workers is growing. Counterintuitively, wages remain abysmally low despite the importance of these roles.
long-term care workers colorado
Career Ladders for Long-Term Care Workers
Long-term care workers are often underpaid, under trained, and lacking important benefits and career advancement opportunities.
older adult working
Older Adults in Colorado's Workforce
In a new brief, we explore the importance of older adults in the workforce and opportunities to bolster this part of Colorado's economy.
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