Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2015 Senior Forum at St. Therese Church. We had 87 attendees and 25 exhibitors.  If you missed it, it was so successful and so much fun that we're going to do it again next year! 

Our speaker was Bob Semro, with the Bell Policy Center.  He did a wonderful job of scaring everyone to death (and hopefully, to action) regarding our shifting demographics.  You can download Bob's slides by clicking here (54-slide PowerPoint).  After his presentation, someone asked Bob, "If you had a magic wand, what would you have us do about this issue?"  Well it turns out Denise happened to have an extra wand, so here's what Bob wished for:


1)    Greater issue visibility!  Most people and policy makers really don't understand what a big deal this is and how many things it will impact:  the economy, state revenues, state budgets, transportation, housing, etc.  It's not just about long-term care.  If we are going to come up with meaningful solutions we need a long-term strategic plan for sustainable solutions.


2)    "Regular people" becoming aware of the challenges aging presents!  Most are not aware of how likely their parents are to need long-term care, how much it will cost, how it impacts family caregivers, what Medicare and Medicaid actually cover and how much savings are required for a comfortable retirement.  If the strategic plan is widely publicized, it may help that effort.


3)    Policy makers, state government, and the private sector need to come up with sustainable solutionsWe need solutions to meet the demand that is coming over the next 40 years, because it is historically unprecedented.  The debate on solutions will take time, effort and money.  Nothing about this is easy, cheap, or quick.


4)    For women and populations of color to realize that they are more adversely affected than other groups! This is especially true of women, who have less in terms of income and savings, live longer, need long-term care longer, and generally bear the brunt of family care giving.  


The AHA Senior Circle will use these four wishes as a starting point for moving forward.

Building a "Community Quilt" for Aurora's Seniors


Participants at the 2015 Senior Forum were asked to respond to this question, "What does Aurora need, or need to do, to make it a healthier community for seniors?"  The image below reflects their answers in a graphic format.   Click here to see the actual responses! 

News about the AHA Board

Last month we introduced you to three new AHA Board Members.  This month we introduce you to four more, all of whom officially start their service on July 1, 2015.  
Julie Gibbs

Julie Gibbs is the Community Benefit Specialist for Children's Hospital Colorado, coordinating community benefit activities for the hospital system including the Community Health Needs Assessment.  She was born and raised in Long Beach, New York, and moved to Colorado in 1976.  She graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Social Work.  She served as the Associate Director for Outreach and Administration for the CDC- funded Colorado Injury Control Research Center, addressing injury prevention and control.

Kelly McCormick


Kelly is a Registered Dietitian within the WIC Program at Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). She received her B.S. from Metropolitan State University of Denver and completed her Dietetic Internship through TCHD. She is also working towards an M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition through Colorado State University. She was born and raised in the city of Aurora. Kelly is proud of her Aurora roots and is eager to influence the health and wellness of Aurora's residents.

Claudine McDonald


Claudine has been with Colorado Access for more than 18 years, responsible for Community Outreach, the Office of Member and Family Affairs, and Cultural Diversity initiative.  Claudine's expertise is in cultural competency. She has trained more than 50,000 people in this area, and has worked to integrate it into organizational structures. Claudine has received two Governor of Colorado appointments. In 2007, she was elected to the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education.  She earned a B.A. in Communication at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Virginia Visconti

Virginia Visconti, Ph.D., is the Collective Impact Coordinator for the Families Forward Resource Center's Healthy Start Program and the Far Northeast Health Alliance.  She is trained as a social-cultural anthropologist and educator and has an extensive background in ethnographic research, community-based participatory research, and community-academic partnership building in diverse settings.  Virginia was born and raised in Illinois and has had the good fortune to live and work in Viet Nam, Thailand, and the Republic of Ireland.

Upcoming AHA Meetings


Children's Hospital Colorado is hosting the summer Quarterly Community Meeting on Wednesday July 15th from 2:00 to 4:30 in the beautiful Mt. Harvard Room.  We hope you're planning to join us.  The agenda will include an update on AHA activities and the community round table.  We'll also be saying "hasta luego" to several departing members of AHA's Founding Board and introducing several new members of AHA's Governing Board.  The "Did You Know" panelists will teach us a little about Alzheimer's, Spalding Hospital, lightning strikes, and our very own city of Aurora.  Remember to bring materials if you'd like to share them on the resource table.


AHA holds many meetings and we know it can be hard to keep track of what's coming up.  We have created a "Calendar" so you can easily access information about all of our upcoming meetings.  Find it at 
and then click on the "AHA Calendar" tab.  (For your convenience we've provided a link  ) Please take a look at this new tool.  We hope you find it useful.


AHA will host a follow-up to our May Kids Convening.  At Kids Convening Phase II, we will take the ideas generated at the May convening, and develop a community work plan.  The meeting is on July 15, 9:00 - 11:30 at the Aurora Strong Resilience Center. Seating is limited, so if you haven't registered yet, please click here.   

Community News
Immigration Workshop at APDC

Asian Pacific Development Center (APDC) is hosting a free immigration workshop on July 11th. The workshop will include: how refugees can apply to become US citizens and a mock interview so that the refugees can hear the kind of questions that will be asked of them during the interview.  Burmese and Karen interpreters will be provided.  See the attached flyer for more information.

Aurora Included in 
The Best Cities to Raise Active Children

We knew it all along! The City of Aurora was recently named one of the best cities in which to raise active children!  "BetterDoctor crunched the numbers to find out where families are raising children and assessed school quality scores and outdoor metrics to figure out where the best cities are to raise active children."  Read the entire article by clicking here.
Improving Healthcare for All Coloradans

AHA is a member of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.  The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is a statewide, non-partisan, non-profit membership organization working so all Coloradans can get affordable, high-quality and equitable health care. CCHI represents 50 nonprofit organizations-mobilizing well over 500,000 consumers-to shape effective health care policy. You can sign up for their updates, which are well worth it.  Click here for more information
We decided to highlight a couple of the exhibitors 
from the 2015 Senior Forum.
Senior Hub

The Senior Hub offers volunteer and professional in-home support services of a nonmedical nature to Aurora older adults.  Their staff is insured and bonded with training in dementia care and other aging issues. Types of services may include:  friendly visiting, protective oversight, light housekeeping, medication reminders, meal prep and serving, personal care assistance and much more. The Senior Hub serves Medicaid, self-pay, and respite care grant clients. In addition, The Senior Hub offers free monthly caregiver support group meetings and information and referral services.   The Senior Hub Companion Care Program is offered to help older adults care for their pets. If Aurora older adults are having trouble taking care of their dog or cat, volunteers are available to assist. Also, some special funding is likely available to assist older adults with pet food, other necessities, and pet veterinary bills. For further information see the website at www.seniorhub.org . Contact Linda Rinelli, The Senior Hub Aurora Volunteer Coordinator, at 720-859-2248 or email lrinelli@seniorhub.org  for information on available respite care or professional home care services. Or contact Mary Thatcher, Program Director for The Senior Hub Homecare at mthatcher@seniorhub.org  or call 303-426-4408.


PASCO of Colorado is a locally owned/operated Medicaid home health agency that has served disabled children and adults since 1993. PASCO provides skilled nursing and certified nursing assistance in the homes of more than 1000 consumers in 13 counties.  We have recently started serving seniors with our very creative "family CNA" model. Here's how it works:


Last year, PASCO hired Mr. John Doe, an 80-year-old who was taking care of his spouse who has Multiple Sclerosis.  John was working at night as a janitor and trying to support and care for his wife during the day. They were not interested in having outside support due to privacy. After his wife experienced several trips to the hospital and rehab facilities, John learned about our program for his wife.


Since his wife was on HCBS Medicaid, we were able to send him to a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) course, which we paid in full. John graduated at the top of his class in less than six weeks. Now he works at home and gets paid to take care of his wife. He works 4 hours a day/7 days a week at $14 an hour and has full benefits at 28 hours a week, so he was able to give up his night-time janitor job.  He and his wife are very happy with this arrangement. She has not been back to the hospital for an emergency visit since he was trained and hired.


PASCO would love to meet you to see if this program is appropriate for you and your loved one. This program has already changed the lives of so many families and we are excited to continue assisting our senior community. Please call our Intake Department at 303-233-2122.

AHA envisions a community where all residents
 have an opportunity for health. 

AHA works collaboratively to improve access 
to care and create a healthier Aurora.

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