Let’s face it. We are all aging. While it might not be as apparent for adults in their 20s and 30s, for someone who just turned 40, I can attest that there comes a time when becoming older is felt both physically and mentally.

So if we are all aging, why not make it as happy, healthy and harmonious as possible? Well, you are in luck if you live in Chaffee County.

Over the past 5 years, Chaffee County Public Health and its partners throughout the county have been prioritizing the needs of older adults leveraging the 2017-2021 Community Health Improvement Plan.

Several non-profits have gained traction to address the gaps in services for older adults, such as Ark Valley Helping Hands and Sage Generation, and have proved to be valuable in developing and expanding programming.

In 2018, a group of agencies and organizations hosted the first fair for older adults which is now called Embracing Aging Chaffee.

Due to the pandemic, the fair was cancelled last year. However, the planning committee has gotten creative in 2021 to offer a unique set of mini-fairs that will be held in September on behalf of National Healthy Aging Month as well as providing ongoing education, outreach, and celebration for all things aging well.

To find out more details about the upcoming mini-fairs, check out Embracing Aging Chaffee’s new website at www.embracingagingchaffee.com

In order to protect our community’s highest risk populations, these in-person events are for those who are fully vaccinated, and for those who remain unvaccinated, there will be virtual opportunities to participate in.

I’d like to express my gratitude to the entire planning committee that has been working tirelessly to pull off some very special events for our local older adults.

In addition, Chaffee County recently received AARP’s Age-Friendly Community designation.

Expect to see more about Age Strong Chaffee, our local movement to embrace aging well and design more aging-aware programming, resources, and supports, in the near future.

We hope that you will consider attending one or more of the Embracing Aging mini-fairs and participate in this year’s Community Health Assessment which will drive the county’s 2022-2027 Health Improvement Plan.

If you have input on how we must continue to prioritize the needs of older adults in our county, there will be several opportunities to do so at the mini-events and in the near future.

Thank you in advance for helping all of us age well here in Chaffee County.

Andrea Carlstrom

Director, Chaffee County Public Health

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