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Colorado State Publications Blog

Protect Your Investments

Whether you are just getting started in the world of investing, or are looking to protect the investments you have, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) has established a website that provides a “wealth” of consumer information on how to manage and protect your investments.

Money: Safeguard Your Hard-Earned Assets includes many consumer tips on money management as well as how to protect yourself from fraud and scams.  The site provides a link to DORA’s Investor Education site, where you can find consumer alerts, FAQs, and helpful links.  You can also learn about DORA’s $ecure Colorado for Seniors initiative, a program designed “to help prevent financial fraud against senior citizens.”  The webpage for this program includes printable brochures, powerpoints, and a link to request a live presentation from a DORA staff member at your senior center, library, or other community facility or group.

Be sure to check out the other Ask DORA webpages as well, providing consumer education on insurance, home repair, civil rights, utilities, and licensing.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

New Senior Financial Fraud Hotline

Senior citizens are frequently targeted as victims of financial fraud.  So to help curb this worrisome trend, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Division of Securities has recently established a new hotline that seniors and/or their relatives or caregivers can use to report fraud and scams directed at the elderly.  The number for the hotline is 720-593-6720.

Several state agencies have set up websites that can help seniors — and anyone — who has been victimized by fraud, or to help educate the public on how to avoid becoming a victim.  If you are a senior or caregiver be sure to check out the following state websites and publications:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Assisted Living

Did you know that September 13-19 is National Assisted Living Week?  The State of Colorado has a number of resources that can help you find information on assisted living facilities in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has a database of facilities in Colorado, with information on the facilities’ licensure.  Also, be sure to check out CDPHE’s Assisted Living Residence Consumer Resources page for more information.

The Colorado Department of Human Services can also offer assistance on the topic through their Office of Aging and Adult Services.

For additional resources, see our library’s Quick Guide for Seniors and Caregivers, offering links to resources as well as search tips for finding inf
ormation in our library.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

June has been designated as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.  Alzheimer’s and related dementias affect over 47 million people worldwide.  The disease has been found to be linked to genetics so if you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, it is smart to be aware of the disease and how it could affect you or your loved ones.  Colorado issued a state Alzheimer’s disease plan in 2010, which you can find in our library.  Our collection also includes several quick, easy-to-understand resources on Alzeheimer’s from Colorado State University, such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia from their Family and Youth Institute and Alzheimer’s Disease from the University Cooperative Extension.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Lifelong Learning

Did you know that Colorado senior citizens can audit classes, tuition-free, at many of Colorado’s state universities?  These programs allow seniors the enjoyment of learning without tuition, grades, and exams; homework is optional.  These courses are not for credit; seniors seeking degrees will have to pay the regular tuition and fees for credit courses.

  • The University of Colorado has offered senior audit programs since the regents set up the program in 1973.  CU-Boulder‘s Senior Auditors program is for seniors 55 and older.  There is no tuition but registrants must pay a fee ($80 for CU-Boulder alums, $95 for non-alums) that covers registration and IT services.  Also, some classes are not eligible.  For registration information and to search for classes, click here.
  • CU-Denver‘s Senior Citizens Program is open to seniors age 60 and older.  No fees are required but students must pay for their own books and course materials.  For registration information and to search for classes, click here.
  • Seniors 55 and older can join CU-Colorado Springs‘ Listening In program.  There is a fee of $30 per credit hour and permission of the instructor must be obtained.  For registration information and to search for classes, click here.
  • Colorado State University also offers seniors the option to audit classes.  At CSU-Ft Collins, their Lifelong Learner program is available for ages 55 and older and includes both in-person and virtual classes.  For registration information and to search for classes, click here.  
  • CSU-Pueblo‘s Guest Student program is open to anyone age 65 and up, or retirees age 62 and older.  Students do not need to pay tuition or mandatory fees, but some course fees may be required depending on the department.  For information and to search for classes, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • Finally, Metropolitan State University of Denver offers a lifelong learning program, Metro Meritus.  The program is offered at no charge for ages 60 plus.  For information and to search for classes, click here.
  • You can also contact your local community college to see if they offer seniors the option of auditing classes free of charge.

Happy Learning!

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Hunger and the Elderly

An article in this month’s State Legislatures magazine cites a study that says the number of elderly who are going hungry is rising.  Seniors with low or fixed incomes can often not afford to eat as well as they should, and those elderly who are ill or on medication often do not regain their health as quickly if they do not have a proper diet.  The high cost of medications also causes many low-income seniors to have to choose between medications and food, according to the article.

Yesterday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a press release stating that their Healthy Food Assistance for Seniors program is underutilized in Colorado.  The program “reimburses care providers for serving healthy meals and snacks based on the income of the participants’ families.”  Adult day care participants who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Supplemental Social Security are eligible to receive free meals through caregivers participating in the program. 

For more information on CDPHE’s program see the Child and Adult Care Food Program Manual and Colorado Older Adult Resource: Implementation Guide for the Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition State Plan 2010, available from our library.  Also be sure to check out Nutrition and Aging, a Colorado State University Extension fact sheet also available from our library.  More resources for and about seniors can be found by searching our web catalog or our library’s Quick Guide for Seniors and Caregivers.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Understanding Property Taxation in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Property Taxation publishes a series of brochures about property taxation in Colorado.  These easy-to-understand brochures cover such topics as property valuation and taxation for residential, commercial, and agricultural properties; property tax exemptions and rebates for seniors, the disabled, and military/veterans, and more.  Check our library’s web catalog for previous years’ editions of these brochures, as well as other helpful information on property taxes in Colorado.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Hospice Care

Did you know that November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month?  If you are searching for hospice care for a loved one, be sure to select the best care possible by visiting the Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment’s Consumer Resources – Hospices webpage.  Here you will find the information you need on inspections, incident occurrences, and how to file a complaint, along with a directory of hospice care facilities in Colorado. 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Resources for Seniors

May is Older Americans Month, and is also the month we celebrate Memorial Day.  Many of our veterans are senior citizens.  The State of Colorado offers a great deal of information for seniors on a variety of issues, including finances, health and well-being, and more.  One helpful place to find senior resources is our library’s Quick Guide for Seniors and Caregivers.  Other helpful publications available from our library include:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Avoid Rip-Offs and Scams

A story in today’s Denver Post brings attention to a growing trend: scams and rip-offs for home maintenance work, particularly victimizing the elderly. This particular story highlights a landscaping scam, while other scams are frequently seen following events such as hailstorms, for instance, when many people are needing new roofs. Authorities warn consumers never to hire a contractor who comes door to door. Instead, carefully choose someone and initiate the contact yourself. For more on scams and rip-offs see the Attorney General’s information on Home Repair Fraud. For information specific to senior citizens, see the AG’s publication Respecting our Elders: A Statewide Action Plan to Combat Senior Fraud. If you believe you have been victimized by a fraudulent contractor or other business person, you can notify the AG’s office by filing a consumer complaint, or you can contact your local district attorney’s office.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Update on State Parks Passes

Last week I described some of Colorado’s summer recreation opportunities, including Colorado State Parks. Well, yesterday, May 19, the Governor signed into law a new kind of Parks Pass – an “Aspen Leaf” lifetime pass for seniors. Giving seniors a lifetime pass, according to the bill sponsors, will allow senior citizens to keep active without having to continually re-purchase the pass. To see the final Act creating the lifetime pass, click here.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Senior Citizens

The Colorado state government homepage, www.colorado.gov, includes a webpage with helpful information for senior citizens, including information on health, consumer protection, transportation, social security, housing/assisted living, and much more. On this site, you can find out how to get a discounted membership to State Parks or the Colorado Historical Society; where to learn computer skills; how to avoid scams and fraud; learn about driving safety; find volunteer opportunities; and understand Medicaid.

The State Publications Library has also produced a guide to information for seniors, Quick Guide to State Information for Seniors and Caregivers, with helpful state information resources and websites.