So much water built up in the kitchen ceiling of Frankie Harper-Loudder’s home that the ceiling finally caved in. She found an organization to help her get it fixed, but the 63-year-old Aurora woman continues to struggle without healthy food and with multiple medical problems. Her name lives on waiting lists for help, but most of the time her pleas go unanswered.
“I keep calling back and asking for help, and I get the feeling they hope I’ll go away and eventually I just do,” she said.
Harper-Loudder is not the only older adult in this situation. Currently, the Older Coloradan’s Fund – which covers senior services like Meals on Wheels, transportation and community health services – is underfunded by at least $100 million. Only about $10 million is in the fund, according to the Colorado Legislature.
Senate Bill 13-127, sponsored by Sen. Lucia Guzman, D-Denver; and Rep. Dianne Primavera, D-Broomfield, would add $4 million to that fund to help older adults live independently in their homes and avoid expensive nursing-home care.
SB 127 is AARP Colorado’s top legislative priority this session, and volunteer advocates have been walking the Statehouse halls, working toward its passage.
Consider the following:
- SB 127 would provide vital funding for our vulnerable populations to pay for a variety of services, including home-delivered meals, meals at nutrition centers, transportation, in-home services and ombudsman services for nursing-home residents.
- The current funding level remains inadequate in the face of a growing senior population in Colorado.
- Between 2010 and 2020, Colorado’s 65-plus population is expected to increase by 61 percent, according to, the State Demographer Office. Currently, it would take $162 million to meet all the needs of the older population. This bill is needed to help meet the growing needs of older Coloradans in the coming years.
- Most people want (and deserve) long-term care services in their homes; not in an institution. Without full funding, more people will go without needed services. Without these services, many older adults will be forced to leave their homes. Some will end up in nursing facilities, which costs the state more money in the long term.
We ask that you please call Governor Hickenlooper, 303-866-2471, and ask for his support.