Grants Awarded to Expand and Improve Services for Aging Latinos

Denver, COColorado Latino Age Wave has awarded grants totaling $200,000 to five organizations to improve access, quality and cost-effectiveness of services to Greater Denver’s growing population of older Latinos. A project of Rose Community Foundation, Colorado Latino Age Wave invests in and advocates for innovative services and programs that support the well-being of Metro Denver’s Latino older adults.

“The fastest growing segment of our metropolitan community is people over 60, and older Latinos are the fastest growing demographic segment of our aging population,” says Sheila Bugdanowitz, president and CEO of Rose Community Foundation. “As a leading funder of aging programs and initiatives, Rose Community Foundation understands the need for our entire community to rethink how we address aging, especially for older adults who are less connected to existing programs and services.”

Launched in 2011, Colorado Latino Age Wave was created by Rose Community Foundation as a multi-year partnership with Hispanics in Philanthropy and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado with major funding from the Colorado Health Foundation and Community First Foundation. A community advisory committee of more than a dozen Latino leaders from the government, business and nonprofit sectors guide the work of Colorado Latino Age Wave.

A comprehensive 2012 community assessment commissioned by Colorado Latino Age Wave concluded that Latino-focused service providers lack experience and knowledge about older Latinos, and that organizations serving seniors lack cultural competence in outreach and service to older Latinos.

“Our research revealed a mix of good news and bad news,” says Cec Ortiz, project director. “The bad news is that with economic and health disparities, Latino elders needs are not well served by existing programs. The good news is that Latinos are resilient. Our values of family and community are strong assets we can build on as we advocate for innovative ways to ensure that Latinos can grow older with dignity and satisfaction.”

Colorado Latino Age Wave’s community grants program was designed to promote collaboration between Latino-serving organizations and aging programs. “We were looking for opportunities to share expertise among organizations that will lead to quality improvement and cultural competence,” says Ortiz.

The two-year grants were announced publicly at an event on April 24 at Rose Community Foundation.

The grant recipients are as follow:

Catholic Charities: $50,000 to partner with Dominican Sisters Home Health Agency in expanding outreach and improving comprehensive services to older Latinos.

Colorado Center for Law and Policy: $33,334 to develop a community blueprint for home-based care and to support a training program that advocates for innovative systemic change in how services are delivered.

Colorado Gerontological Society: $33,334 to work with agencies serving Latino and older adult populations to develop an outreach plan that will expand enrollment of older Latinos in the Medicare Savings Program and Part D Low-Income Subsidy.

Latino Task Force of Boulder County: $50,000 to develop a plan, in collaboration with multiple Boulder County agencies and community groups, that will create a promotores (promoters of health) model and train older Latino promotores to provide information and connect Latino elders to services and resources in the County.

Sisters of Colorado United for Education: $33,334 to train bilingual (Spanish and English) elders as promotoras de salud (promoters of health) to expand the organization’s services to older Latinos.