The Seniors Alliance of Platte Canyon is stepping up its advocacy campaign with three events in October. Each event is designed to connect Platte Canyon-area senior citizens with providers of basic needs and services such as transportation and medical care.

SAPC President Mary Anne Wesoloski says area seniors are increasing in numbers, but getting left behind due primarily to geographic isolation from senior assistance programs typically offered in more populated locations.

“We try to connect seniors through advocacy, education, socialization and resources, so Platte Canyon seniors may safely age in place,” Wesoloski said.

“Seniors in Park County have traditionally been underserved when it comes to basic senior services. Funding and services either stop at the county line, or they are centered in Fairplay, which is not convenient to seniors in the Bailey or Platte Canyon area.”

Wesoloski also points to the higher-than-usual median age of Bailey residents as evidence that the need for senior assistance services will only become more imperative in the near and foreseeable future.

To Wesoloski’s point, results from the 2010 Census indicated that approximately 40 percent of Bailey residents are over the age of 55, and that the median age of 45.2, well above the national median age of 37.4.

SAPC plans to soon become incorporated as a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, and has hopes of obtaining an office in the Bailey Community Center.

SAPC board member Jim Glenn says transportation is the most vital need among area seniors.

“We have monthly meetings, and the number one issue among seniors at those meeting is transportation,” Glenn said. “Especially in the way of transportation, we really want to make connections between seniors and providers.”

Wesoloski added that, because of the wealth of seniors residing in the area, there is a great deal of financial opportunity in Park County for senior assistance providers.

“The American Aging Act provided that services such as transportation, home health care, home-maker and handyman types of services be made available to seniors, but there are no such providers in Park County. There is a big void here for those services, and there is a lot of potential for providers who are willing to come here. Hopefully, that void will be filled soon. I’m confident we are making progress, and look forward to increasing awareness at our upcoming events.”

SAPC events and event descriptions

Senior Expo! Oct. 18

The Senior Expo will occur at Platte Canyon High School, 9:30-1:30. Denver, Colorado Springs, and Park County providers of services and goods for senior living will be in attendance. This is the event of the year for connecting seniors with resources.

Wildfire planning for seniors, Oct. 26

Wildfire planning will be held 1-3 p.m. at the Platte Canyon Fire Protection District Fire Station #2 on top of Crow Hill in Bailey. Participants will complete and take home a written evacuation plan tailored to their specific needs. Presented as a collaboration between the Seniors Alliance and Fire Adaptive Bailey.

Transportation Symposium, Oct. 30

In partnership with Mountain Resource Center in Conifer, transportation stakeholders from Denver, Colorado Springs, Park County, and the State of Colorado will meet to find solutions to the transportation needs of veterans, disabled, elderly, and low-income residents along the 285 corridor. By invitation only.

To find out more about SAPC, look it up on FaceBook: Seniors Alliance of Platte Canyon; email SAPC at seniorsallianceofplattecanyon@gmail.com, or check the website, soon-to-be-operational at www.thesapc.org.

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