Council on Aging summit to discuss senior center for Craig

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If you go

What: Moffat County Council on Aging summit

When: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday

Where: Colorado Northwestern Community College, Craig campus, Room 175

The meeting will discuss the possibility of creating an area senior center or even a larger recreation center. Refreshments will be provided. The senior bus will be available, and CNCC will transport guests from the west parking lot to the Academic Building, and passengers can be dropped at the south entrance using the drop-off/emergency access road. RSVP to mary.morris@cncc.edu. For more information about the summit or to arrange transportation, call 970-824-1135.

— The older population of Moffat County has many events, programs and activities on its docket, but one thing these people lack is a set space in which they can do everything they’d like. But the chance to alter that problem will be available soon.

The Moffat County Council on Aging and the Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Colorado will host a summit from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday in Room 175 at the Craig campus of Colorado Northwestern Community College. The main purpose of the meeting is to discuss the possibility of bringing a senior center to the area where seniors can meet, socialize, exercise and more.

One of the first steps is to determine the level of desire and need within the community for such a project, said Neil Folks, chairman for Moffat County Council on Aging.

“We want it be really citizen-driven, a grass-roots kind of thing,” he said.

Ideally, a senior center would allow its users to have one convenient location for everything going on in their lives. A consolidation would ease a great burden for seniors, Folks said, noting that according to data from the State Demography Office, the senior population — age 65 and older — of Moffat County increased by nearly 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Folks also cited an article from the November edition of the AARP Bulletin about the importance of marketing projects and business toward Americans older than 50, who make up a significant portion of the nation’s gross domestic product. By catering to senior needs, the economic impact on the region could be great, he said.

“Seniors have the time, a lot of them have got the money and they need all kinds of goods and services,” he said.

Talking points during the meeting will include what kind of services people would like to see offered through a senior center and the potential costs of the project, as well as whether or not a larger community center might be a feasible idea.

“We’re not against incorporating something much bigger,” Folks said.

Folks said he would like to see people of all ages get involved with the initiative, especially those of high school- and college-aged who would benefit greatly from such a space, as well as any number of local organizations.

“There are probably groups out there we haven’t even thought of, but hopefully we can get the word out to them so they’ll come" to the summit, he said.

The summit also will be facilitated by CNCC President Russell George and Corrie Ponikvar, executive director of Moffat County United Way.

Ponikvar said her main role at the meeting will be to help create a dialogue regarding the needs of the aging population and how a facility like a senior center might serve them.

“It’s important to look at what we can do to continue the quality of life for our seniors,” she said.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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