Give a little, care a lot
Demographics and demographers agree: Colorado is aging faster than most other states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 an estimated 21 percent of our state’s population will be over age 60—a 32 percent increase from 2012. Northern Colorado is aging faster than other areas of the state, making it one of the fastest aging areas in the nation. We can’t help it. Age happens. It comes with a list of concerns, but with A Little Help that list can be shortened.
A Little Help, a northern Colorado-based non-profit, launched in Fort Collins in 2018 and opened a local office in Berthoud a year later. “Our goal is to help people stay in their homes, to step in and help them age in place while connecting them with neighbors. It makes us unique,” said Northern Colorado Director Jason Morgan.
Health concerns are often what prompts a move away from home, but for many older residents, home is where their physical, mental and financial health is. For many, their needs are non-medical: a snowy driveway in need of shoveling, a lawn needing mowing. Those who no longer drive need help getting to a doctor’s appointment or a grocery store. Some need social interaction, others may need a dog walked. “One individual is looking for a cribbage player,” Morgan said. “As a volunteer, you get access to a portal where you can see the array of services needed and you get to choose what you want to do.”
“In Berthoud,” Morgan added, “we work with city officials, like those in code enforcement. Say a lawn is unsightly, then the city will call our office to see if we can help.”
To date, the Berthoud office is serving fifty residents with roughly three volunteers signed up for every member. But help is always needed.
“Berthoud is our model program,” Morgan said. “It’s a unique place with programs we don’t do anywhere else. For example, CSU Extension has a program for folks who can’t make it to the farmer’s market. They bag up produce and deliver it. We also did a reverse ice cream social where volunteers delivered ice cream to people.”
Individuals needing help are referred to as members. They pay a membership fee based on what they can afford. “It is never prohibitive,” Morgan said. “Once a member joins, then they have a level of engagement and are more likely to attend one of our [mostly online] educational events. That relationship actually helps people ask for help. It’s almost like a club.”
A Little Help does not provide medical help, Morgan noted, but they can help make referrals.
Volunteers must agree to a background check and a training module—a brief overview of the program. They range in age from high schoolers to the younger older set. “If you run the numbers,” said Morgan, “our average volunteer is a 61-year-old woman.”
If you run other numbers, it’s clear Berthoud has experienced a lot of growth. Local non-profits need help keeping up with it.
Your donation will help support costs related to staff, background checks, programs, insurance and database programs.
To give a little financial help, learn more about the organization or enroll as a volunteer, visit https://www.alittlehelp.org/ or call the local Berthoud office at 970-412-9396. The little help you give now may be an investment in the help we can all anticipate receiving later.
- July, 17 2014
By Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer The Surveyor It’s already been a long, hot summer for the group...
- November, 18 2021
A proposed campground west of Berthoud is facing backlash from residents in the area. The...
- January, 25 2019
Courtesy photo - Linda Rumney, Larimer County Office on Aging program...
- March, 01 2019
Special to the Surveyor This year, the Colorado Municipal League (CML) released its 10th edition...
- December, 10 2015
Turner Middle School welcomes new assistant principal By Bob McDonnell The Surveyor [caption id="attachment_2580" align="alignleft"...
- June, 11 2020
File photo - Berthoud Reservoir concept drawing presented to the Board of Trustees on June...