Innovations in Aging hosting workshop

The Colorado Springs Innovations for Aging Collaborative is preparing to meet the baby boomer wave that’s about to wash over El Paso County.

The collaborative is hosting a workshop April 21 at Colorado College’s Worner Campus Center. The objective of the meeting is to identify a project related to aging that the community can rally around, said David Lord, executive director of the collaborative.

“The goal is to begin seeing if we were to move to action, what might we do to put focus around it and who might be the stakeholders,” Lord said.

The Innovations in Aging Collaborative was formed two years ago by a group of community leaders. It has been an informal, grassroots group but is now looking into hiring an executive director, Lord said.

The collaborative’s goal has been to shine a light on the retiring baby boomers. Today, El Paso County has 62,051 residents over age 65. In three years, that number is projected to grow to more than 80,000.

In 2010, the collaborative hosted a summit to outline some of the issues that boomers and the community will face – affordable housing, transportation, medical facilities, assisted living facilities, volunteerism, second careers and services needed.

“We spent the first two years talking and now we want to see if there are some points in the community to bring together in collaborative action, “Lord said.

Topics at the April 21 workshop, which is free and open to the public, includes health and wellness, arts and culture, lifelong learning and business/entrepreneurship. Stanley Gryskiewicz, who spoke at the 2010 Summit and is the founder of the Association of Innovative Managers, will speak at the workshop and help facilitate the discussion.

“Now is the time to develop collaborative and sustainable programs to respond to the needs,” Lord said. “There are so many possible ways this could go. There are some interesting things we might be able to put forward as a community to serve our older adults.”

Other speakers include Steve Cox, economic vitality director for the City of Colorado Springs; BJ Scott, co-chair of the collaborative‘s steering committee; and Sara Qualls, director of the Gerontology Center at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and expert on aging issues.

For details, go Innovations in Aging website, or RSVP to Dir@innovationsinaging.org and indicate your choice for breakout session.