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Colorado Commission on Aging

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Smiling group of senior citizens

About the Colorado Commission on Aging

The Colorado Commission on Aging (CCOA) is the state’s primary advisory body on all matters affecting older Coloradans. The CCOA is a governor-appointed, citizen-led, multidisciplinary commission, comprised of representatives from both the public and private sectors, various professional and personal experiences, and cultural and diverse backgrounds across the state.

The CCOA coordinates and contributes to guiding programs, services, projects, policies, procedures and resources in the area of aging. It also guides the implementation of the Lifelong Colorado Plan for Aging, the state’s strategic action plan on aging.

Background and modernization

The CCOA was established by the Older Coloradans Act in the 1960s. In 2022, the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 22-1035, the Modernization of the Older Coloradans' Act, which reorganized the CCOA and reimagined Colorado’s approach to serving the needs of older adults. Changes included:

  • Increasing the CCOA’s membership from 17 to 19
  • Appointing a Colorado Department of Human Services liaison to act as the primary contact for the CCOA
  • Convening a technical advisory committee comprised of key state agency representatives
  • Creating the Lifelong Colorado Initiative

Meetings

Next meeting

  March. 21, 2024, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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About CCOA meetings

The Colorado Commission on Aging meets on the third Thursday of each month.

View all meetings on the CDHS Public Meeting Calendar.

View agendas and minutes from past meetings.

Get engaged in aging issues

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Group of older people in conversation

2023 CCOA Annual Report

The CCOA released the 2023 Colorado Commission on Aging Annual Report on Sept. 1. This year's report features a message from Commission Chair Chad Federwitz, as well as information about the sunset of the Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging, modernization of the Older Coloradans Act, and implementation of a Lifelong Colorado Plan for Aging. 

Annual Reports from previous years
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More information

CCOA subcommittees

The CCOA has four subcommittees:

  • Age-Friendly Communities Subcommittee: The purpose of this subcommittee is to collaborate and implement strategies at the state and local level based on the policy recommendations of the Colorado Plan for Lifelong Aging, the Strategic Action Plan on Aging 2021-22 report, the Aging Framework, and ensuring alignment across the various age-friendly initiatives, such as public health, health systems, and universities to support older adults, their families, and our communities in Colorado.
  • Public Policy and Advocacy Subcommittee: The purpose of this subcommittee is to advocate and educate about legislation and regulations about programs and services that directly impact older Coloradans. The subcommittee works to develop and forward a pathway through policy and advocacy to healthy aging for all Coloradans.
  • Workforce Development Subcommittee: The purpose of this subcommittee is to increase access to direct care workers supporting older adults and improve opportunities for older adults who need or want to work past traditional retirement age.
  • Mental Health Subcommittee: The purpose of this subcommittee is to advocate and educate about legislation and regulations about mental health services that directly impact Older Coloradans. 

Learn more and sign up to join a subcommittee.

Legislation

The following list includes bills in the Colorado legislature related to the Colorado Commission on Aging.

Reports
Colorado Aging Framework

The Colorado Aging Framework: A Guide for Policymakers, Providers and Others for Aging Well in Colorado was developed as a collaboration between CDHS and the CCOA in response to the currently increasing older adult population in Colorado. It captures what state agencies in Colorado are doing, right now, to respond to the increasing population of older adults.

2022 SAPGA Report

The Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging (SAPGA) exists to produce a comprehensive strategic action plan on aging, in order to prepare for the wide-ranging effects of the demographic shift in Colorado's older adult population, so that all Coloradans may continue to age with dignity and a maximum quality of life. Read SAPGA's 2022 Strategic Action Plan on Aging and Final Report.

Improve Prison Release Outcomes

During the 2021 legislative session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 21-146: Improve Prison Release Outcomes. The bill included a section directing the CCOA to study and make recommendations to ensure that people 65 years of age and older can access health insurance coverage after release. The resulting report, Improve Prison Release Outcomes: A Final Report on Senate Bill 21-146, included five key recommendations that will make measurable improvements for Coloradans who are released from prison at age 65 or older.

Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults

The Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults provides a statistically valid survey of the strengths and needs of older adults as reported by older adults themselves. This report is intended to enable local governments, community-based organizations, the private sector and other community members to understand more thoroughly and predict more accurately the services and resources required to serve an aging population. With this data, community stakeholders can shape public policy, educate the public and assist communities and organizations in their efforts to sustain a high quality of life for older adults.

View the 2022 Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults

Centenarian Celebration

The Centenarian Celebration is a promotion activity of the Colorado Commission on Aging to celebrate the lives of centenarians across the state, recognizing their individual century of achievement, and focus the attention of all Coloradans on the political and social issues of aging. The Centenarian Project recognizes older adults who have achieved the age of 100 or older by awarding centenarian certificates prepared by the CCOA and signed by the governor.

Fill out the Centenarian Project Certificate Request form to honor a centenarian.

For more information about the Centenarian Program, please contact Adrian Cowan at adrian.cowan@state.co.us.

Allen Buckingham Senior Legacy Award

Allen M.A. Buckingham served on the Colorado Commission on Aging from 1986-98. The commission's annual Senior Legacy Award was awarded posthumously to Buckingham in December 1998 and the event was renamed in his honor. Buckingham served on the national AARP Board of Directors, as regional director of the Region VIII U.S. Administration on Aging, and held other key positions during his career. He promoted the needs of older persons, especially that they live in dignity, have freedom and choice, and realize full and active participation in their society.

For more information about the Allen Buckingham Senior Leadership Legacy Award, please contact Adrian Cowan at adrian.cowan@state.co.us.

Commission membership

The CCOA is made up of 19 commissioners:

  • Two state legislators: one from the Senate and one from the House
  • One member from each of Colorado's eight Congressional Districts: at least one member who is 60+, or a person living with a disability, or who has a family member with a disability; rural/frontier; local government; business community, 
  • One member from each of the remaining categories: higher education; director of an Area Agency on Aging; knowledge of workforce issues impacting older Coloradans; represents a long-term residential care setting; represents an organization providing Home and Community-Based Services; extensive knowledge of or experience with transportation infrastructure and services; represents housing sector; and public policy or elder law community with knowledge of an experience with aging policy or elder rights issues.
NameRepresentationTerm Expiration
Adam Dempsey CD 1Sept. 1, 2024
Ellen Taxman CD 2Sept. 1, 2025
Lynne Thompson CD 3Sept. 1, 2024
James Kuemmerle CD 4Sept. 1, 2024
Kathleen Cerullo-Smith CD 5Sept. 1, 2024
VacantCD 6Sept. 1, 2024
Karen Brown CD 7Sept. 1, 2024
Ronica Rooks CD 8Sept. 1, 2024
Jodi Waterhouse Higher EducationSept. 1, 2025
Christine VogelAAA DirectorSept. 1, 2025
Penny Whitney WorkforceSept. 1, 2024
Kimberly Bryant LTC SettingSept. 1, 2024
VacantDementiaSept. 1, 2025
Chad Federwitz HCBSSept. 1, 2025
Rich McClintock TransportationSept. 1, 2025
Diana Delgado HousingSept. 1, 2025
Gina Brown Public PolicySept. 1, 2024
Rep. Mary Young Colorado House of RepresentativesWNLS
Sen. Joann Ginal Colorado SenateWNLS
Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging
About SAPGA

The Strategic Action Planning Group on Aging (SAPGA) was a product of House Bill 15-1033. SAPGA was charged with examining the impact of the shifting aging demographic on the economy, workforce, businesses, market-based products and services, state and local revenue budgets and fiscal policies, Medicaid and other safety-net programs and the collateral impact on other non-related state programs, family caregiving and public and private options for long-term care, services and support, federal entitlement reforms, and transportation services and infrastructure.

SAPGA’s goals were to develop a comprehensive long-term strategic plan, as well as recommend specific actions and bills to the General Assembly that:

  • Best manage the impact of this demographic shift on the state of Colorado
  • Improve the long-term quality and effectiveness of outcome-based services by government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector
  • Ensure adequate and sustainable funding and spending strategies for Medicaid and other state and local programs
  • Create a public education campaign to improve individual and family preparedness

The result of SAPGA’s work was a comprehensive report, titled 2022 Strategic Action Plan on Aging and Final Report, aimed to guide strategies and tactics to support older Coloradans. The Strategic Action Planning group on Aging was sunset with House Bill 22-1209. With the sunset of the group, the Colorado Commission on Aging was tasked with coordinating and implementing the Strategic Action Plan on Aging recommendations by House Bill 22-1035.

Action plans
Meetings
Resources