Navigating age-related issues: new tools to build outreach capacity

Volunteers working on paperwork

Senior Access Point volunteer ambassadors will help Larimer County residents to identify options for age-related issues.

Each time older adults and their family members confront a new aging issue, they can be confused about how to identify solutions. When a crisis hits, it’s often not easy to figure out where to turn. While many aging-related community services are available for seniors in Larimer County, a coordinated, county-wide outreach better connects people at various stages of life.

Senior Access Points was formed through a coalition between the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities, Colorado State University Extension, CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and the Larimer County Office on Aging. The goal is to address barriers to accessing aging-related resources.

To better understand these barriers, the SAP team conducted a survey and gathered data from 271 Larimer County residents between January and June 2017. “The findings showed that the top reasons people sought aging-related resources were declining health issues, caregiver resources and supports, and home care services,” said Allyson Brothers, HDFS assistant professor and one of the survey designers.

The most common places people looked for aging-related resources were the Larimer County Office on Aging, their doctor’s office, and an online search.

Information hub

In response to survey findings and input from professionals in aging-related fields, the Senior Access Points team developed an information hub at to help people more easily navigate resources related to aging.

“We developed an ambassador volunteer program to build outreach capacity, orient aging professionals to the new SAP website, and disseminate Senior Access Points materials,” said Sue Schneider, Extension agent in Larimer County. “We’ve had a great response to this initiative.”

As part of a pilot project, nine community volunteers completed training to become Senior Access Points Ambassadors.

“The SAP Ambassadors have worked to identify key community sites that serve older adults and their family members,” said Schneider. “We are in the process of building relationships to educate front-line workers about the many wonderful aging-related programs available to older adults in our community.”

If you or your organization is interested in connecting with a SAP Ambassador to learn how to help families navigate local aging-related resources, please contact