The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs’ Aging Center plans to vastly expand its mental health services for seniors after receiving a half-million dollar grant from a Denver-based nonprofit.

The center received a two-year, $567,182 grant from the NextFifty Initiative, an organization focused on improving the lives of elderly people, the Aging Center announced Friday.

“It helps expand on the resources we have to collaborate care,” said Magdalene Lim, director of the Aging Center.

The Aging Center typically caters to patients who are uninsured, underinsured or who receive Medicare, and it offers psychotherapy to seniors as well as their caregivers. It also operates a memory center offering in-depth cognitive assessments for people suffering dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The center typically serves about 500 people a year at its offices inside the UCCS Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences, said Laura Engleman, program director for the Aging Center. It serves another 2,500 people through partnerships across the community, including Peak Vista Community Health Centers.

The new grant will increase its services across the board — most notably, for the cognitive assessments that help gauge whether someone can live alone, and whether they can responsibly make medical or financial decisions for themselves.

The center also will be able to accept more referrals from other health care providers, such as Peak Vista, Rocky Mountain Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging, Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, and Silver Key Senior Services, as well as from the El Paso County Department of Human Services.

Load comments