McKnight’s Long-Term Care News reported that price tends to be the most important factor for both aging adults and their children when considering senior living options. Though seniors and their adult children may place a greater importance on different senior living options beyond price — such as health care services, amenities, location and neighborhood — the cost of long-term care continues to be top of mind for all parties involved, mainly because these costs continue to rise. AARP’s 24th annual report, “Across the States 2018: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports,” quantifies the rising costs of long-term care. According to the report, the national base price for assisted living was $45,000 in 2017. In Colorado, where the median household income of seniors age 65+ is just under $50,000, affording such high long-term care costs can be near impossible.
The lack of affordable senior housing in Boulder has been a problem for decades. In a city with building-height restrictions and a lack of space for new senior housing developments, many longtime residents have been pushed out once they reached their retirement years. The same rings true for seniors in other major metropolitan areas throughout Colorado, especially those in Denver and Arapahoe Counties.
More than fifty years ago, the First Christian Church founded Golden West in an effort to help solve the problem. While we are no longer affiliated with the church, we continue to honor their mission by offering affordable independent and assisted living options to seniors age 62+. We also formed the nonprofit Golden West Foundation to further support our residents. Through our foundation, residents can apply for rent subsidies and continue to remain at our community even if they experience a drop in income.
Golden West currently provides about 40 percent of all affordable senior housing in Boulder, and we believe that helping longtime residents stay in Boulder is essential to maintaining a strong community. With the inevitable rise in Boulder’s senior population, it’s important Boulderites consider all the ways a graying population improves — rather than strains — our city. Seniors are a surprising boon to the local economy, with Baby Boomers launching new companies at almost twice the rate of adults in their 20s and 30s. They also contribute to half of all consumer spending. And perhaps of greater importance is the way in which their skills, knowledge and expertise diversify our city, creating a richer culture and social outlook for us all.
If you have questions about affordable senior housing in Boulder, give us a call at 303-444-3967. We strive to be a valuable resource for seniors and their families, and we’re here to answer your questions and connect you with local organizations who can offer further assistance.