How do we ensure health and quality of life after the first 50 years?

The Denver Regional Council of Governments’ (DRCOG) Area Agency on Aging is one of the inaugural grant recipients of NextFifty Initiative, a nonprofit foundation focused on improving community services for older adults and their caregivers.

With the population of Americans age 65 and older expected to double to 98 million by 2060, NextFifty Initiative was formed to seek, vet and fund projects, ideas, technology and innovations that improve the lives of those who are aging.

DRCOG’s Area Agency on Aging recently embarked on a five-year plan funded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to better connect clinical and community-based service providers. Known as the Accountable Health Communities, this $4.5 million grant from CMS allows DRCOG to build the coordinated infrastructure through which clinical and community partners screen individuals and address social determinants of health, such as nutrition, utility needs, and transportation. The NextFifty Initiative’s $250,000 contribution over the next two years will help bolster the funds necessary to provide essential services to individuals 50 years and older to address these health-related social needs.

“DRCOG was selected in our first round of grant recipients because we see the potential in its mission to positively impact people in their second 50 years,” said Margaret Franckhauser, president and CEO of NextFifty Initiative. “We offer our congratulations for being selected and look forward to a wonderful partnership that brings progress and change.”

With a growing aging population and the rising costs of healthcare, opportunities through the Accountable Health Communities and the NextFifty Initiative will help demonstrate the importance and value of community services on overall health.