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The Broomfielder

New Program Benefits Senior Veterans in Broomfield County

Mar 01, 2019 05:21PM
By Elizabeth Buckingham

We live in a world in which many people, including seniors, face challenges that make it difficult to flourish in their communities. For seniors these unique challenges often take the form of physical and mental health issues, economic pressures, loss of family and friends, and cultural and community isolation. Not knowing how you or your loved one will continue day-to-day activities can cause significant stress; if you or your loved one is also a veteran, these challenges are often compounded.

Cultivate, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit, is dedicated to helping seniors flourish by reconnecting them with their surrounding communities. The northern metro area as a whole, including Broomfield and Boulder counties, is aging at one of the fastest rates in Colorado. It’s estimated that by 2030, more than 20% of the population in this area will be 65 or older; helping seniors live a vibrant, connected life ultimately helps the entire community.

Cultivate has just launched a new program for veterans in Broomfield County (and other nearby counties) called VetsGo, and it provides volunteer-driven rides to VA medical appointments for senior veterans. In Broomfield County the program is currently just available to veterans 60 years and older, but as demand and funding increases, VetsGo hopes to expand to spouses, parents, and children of veterans. Said executive director Chrysti Britt, “We’re excited about this new program and the opportunity to connect members of the community with veterans. We want to both honor their service and provide greater community support.”

Britt continued, “Our VetsGo program connects members of the community with senior veterans 60+ who face the challenge of obtaining reliable transportation to and from their VA medical appointments. With a generous heart and friendly smile, our volunteers pick up senior vets and escort them to and from VA medical appointments. Veterans frequently lack needed community support, and many senior veterans have difficulty finding transportation. VetsGo volunteers will take veteran riders 60 and over to and from VA medical appointments anywhere in the metro area, and the volunteer driver will wait for the veteran in order to provide a safe ride home.”

Britt goes on to explain that all volunteers are thoroughly background-checked. Many of the volunteers are themselves veterans, so the VetsGo service also offers a friendly face and a connection with someone who may have experienced similar challenges. Rides need to be booked at least five days in advance but can also be reserved months out, so once a VA appointment is scheduled, a senior veteran can rest easy knowing that their transportation needs will be met.
 
Many senior veterans struggle with the isolation of aging in their own homes, or if someone is not yet a senior, they have loved ones who are facing those challenges. To ensure a safe, vibrant, healthy community for all, it’s essential that we keep seniors involved and connected. If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with Cultivate’s many programs, or if you or a family member might qualify for VetsGo, please visit cultivate.ngo or call 303-443-1933.