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AARP Colorado Boosts Support for Family Caregivers

Partners in a couple act as caregivers for one another

When his wife faced breast cancer surgery more than seven years ago, Greg Glischinski found himself frustrated with hospital staff who would explain complicated medical information to her when he wasn’t around to be a necessary second pair of ears.

But, as an AARP legislative advocacy volunteer, Glischinski knew his rights under a 2015 law that AARP Colorado successfully championed. The law requires medical personnel to provide caregivers with detailed instructions on how to attend to the medical needs of a loved one after discharge from the hospital. Glischinski, 73, of Centennial, spoke up and made sure hospital staff told him what he needed to know.

“Patients and caregivers need to be their own advocates whenever dealing with our health care system,” he says.

AARP Colorado is continuing its work to support family caregivers like Glischinski. It is providing online state-specific resources, collaborating with groups such as the Alzheimer’s Association on educational webinars, and making volunteer speakers available by request to give in-person caregiving presentations in local communities.

“We are looking at creative ways to connect with caregivers,” says Jeremiah Mora, AARP Colorado community outreach director. People can send ideas to

Local resources available

In 2021, 600,000 family caregivers in Colorado provided 560 million hours of unpaid care valued at an estimated $11.2 billion, AARP research shows.

The need for family caregivers is only expected to grow as the population ages. The number of Coloradans 65 and older increased by 58.1 percent from 2010 to 2020, while the overall population grew by 14.8 percent, according to census data.

There is a shortage of health care workers, says Sara Schueneman, AARP Colorado state director. “So the fact that we have family caregivers who are willing to give up their time and energy is critical,” she says.

A 2022 AARP survey of 706 Colorado residents age 45 and over found that 67 percent were either providing unpaid care to an adult relative or friend or had done so in the past. A majority (86 percent) also reported feeling at least somewhat confident that they would be able to find information on getting help if they or a loved one they care for is facing age-related challenges or illness.

Coloradans can find links to state-specific family caregiver resources at The site includes information on health care, transportation, financial assistance, legal issues and housing.

AARP also has a Prepare to Care Guide available at It includes information such as how to start the caregiving conversation with family members, how to find local help and how to balance work and caregiving duties.

Learn about upcoming caregiving events in Colorado by going to To request a caregiving presentation in your community, call 866-554-5376 or email

Cynthia Pasquale is a writer living in Denver.

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