Community-based solutions that serve healthy aging for everyone
Innovations in Aging Collaborative works with governments and community-based organizations, engaging the community to develop creative solutions for the challenges and opportunities of aging. The nonprofit is grateful to have Alpine Bank as a philanthropic partner in planning and carrying out its initiatives in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. These initiatives are chosen in alignment with the World Health Organization’s framework for Age-Friendly cities and communities, and the organization aims to remove the physical and social barriers that prevent older adults from thriving; building community-based systems in which they are able to learn, grow, and participate in all aspects of community;. This includes advancing policies, systems, services, products, and cutting-edge technologies that foster inclusion and protect those who are most vulnerable. People of all ages — not just older adults — benefit from this work, said Innovations in Aging Collaborative Executive Director Erin Maruzzella.
“This is truly a community effort, and the success of our initiative belongs to all of us,” Maruzzella said. “We are always looking for volunteers to join our workgroups and help us build Age-Friendly Colorado Springs and Age-Friendly El Paso County together.”
Not only does Innovations in Aging Collaborative help individuals of all generations thrive and connect with their community, it engages in proactive urban and rural design initiatives that address the roots of the problems older adults often face. Maruzzella said that this attention to the big picture is what makes the nonprofit so effective.
“One of my favorite quotes comes from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who said ‘There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.’ I worked for 15 years as a healthcare provider for older adults, pulling people out of the river. It is my joy every day to work on upstream, community-based solutions that serve healthy aging and healthy communities,” she said. “The work is incredibly impactful and rewarding.”
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