Good morning, Boulder. 🌄 Let’s get right to it!

Today’s top story from Sally Bell looks at solutions to help older Boulder County residents spend their golden years at home. The region’s population of adults over the age of 80 is poised for “a dramatic increase” by 2050, but most local housing wasn’t built for aging in place.

We’ve also got a list of resources for homeowners who want to make sure their home environment is suited for all ages and abilities. Plus the Community Foundation’s rebuilding fund, post-Marshall Fire trail openings, Covid-19 updates, an upcoming virtual meeting of the Xcel Energy Partnership Advisory Panel, and more.

Until Wednesday,

– Jezy, managing editor

Downtown Boulder Partnership CEO Chip speaks after the Jeff & Paige concert at Sunday’s Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival on the Pearl Street Mall. Credit: Stacy Feldman

Quickly

Cool and cloudy: Expect highs near 50 today. Much-needed showers likely before 4:00 p.m., then a slight chance of showers until about 5:00 p.m. (Winter weather advisory is in effect until noon for the northern mountains.) Temperatures should tick up by the end of the week, reaching the low-70s by Friday.

🔊 Siren test today: Boulder OEM will test the countywide emergency alert system today at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. More audible tests are scheduled on June 6 and August 1, weather permitting.

🚧 Flood recovery travel delays: Reminder — Expect delays along the first half-mile of Sugarloaf Road near CO 119 beginning today, as Boulder County and its contractor, American Civil Constructors, begin final repairs after the flood of 2013. The project is expected to continue through October, weather permitting.

💸 Marshall Fire rebuilding fund: The Community Foundation Boulder County will be updating the public on its plans for distributing remaining funds from the Boulder County Wildfire Fund to assist Marshall Fire victims with rebuilding. Tonight at 6:30 p.m. Tune in virtually (or in-person) by registering here.

🥾 Post-Marshall Fire trail reopenings: As of last Friday, Open Space & Mountain Parks (OSMP) has reopened the Marshall Mesa trailhead, along with the Marshall Mesa, Marshall Valley and Coal Seam trails. OSMP says portions of the Marshall Mesa trailhead will remain closed until more extensive repairs are completed.  

🚗 Sound off on transportation projects: Friday, May 6, is the last day to provide feedback on four proposed City of Boulder transportation projects being considered for submission for funding in the Denver Regional Council of Governments’ (DRCOG) Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), 2022-2025 funding cycle. Per the city: “Community members can watch short informational videos on each project and view project factsheets on the city website. They can also schedule virtual office hours with city transportation staff to learn more about the projects.”

Xcel advisory panel meeting: Tune in to a virtual meeting on Monday, May 9, as the Xcel Energy Partnership Advisory Panel discusses their recommendations for hitting Boulder’s 100% renewable energy and building electrification goals. Register here.

📛 Boulder Startup Week: ICYMI – the schedule is now live for this year’s weeklong Boulder Startup Week, happening May 9-13. It’s free.

Top Stories

‘I want to be in charge of myself’: As the population of older Boulder County residents continues to grow, finding solutions to help them stay in their homes is more pressing than ever.

Jan Campbell always knew she didn’t want to live in an assisted living facility. So when she bought her home in Broomfield 22 years ago, she set out to make changes that would enable her to stay there the rest of her life.

“I deliberately bought a house with a large entry, no hallways and double doors between the living room and bedroom, so it could accommodate a wheelchair if necessary,” said Campbell, who is now 87. 

Over the years, she has added grab bars in the accessible shower and on the toilet. She has a bedside commode during the night, automatic kitchen shades, brighter lighting and kitchen modifications so she doesn’t have to stoop.

Campbell uses a walker for balance these days. She has had several joints replaced, and suffers from macular degeneration, a stiff shoulder and weak lungs from long-ago pleurisy. She says her legs don’t lift enough anymore to climb steps.

But Campbell says she is still happy with her choice to age in place, despite her health issues. “I set my own schedule. I eat when I want. I do what I want, when I want to do it — and I like that a lot,” she says. “I’ve done pretty much what I need to for me to survive here always.”

Campbell is among the many older Boulder County residents who want to live out their golden years in the long-time homes where they feel comfortable. And her demographic is growing: A 2019 report by Age Well Boulder County and the county’s Area Agency on Aging noted that while the total local population is projected to increase 33 percent by 2050, the older adult population (ages 60 and older) could grow by 58 percent — and the 80-plus cohort by a whopping 244 percent.

“We are on the cusp of a dramatic increase in older adults age 80+, many of whom wish to remain in their Boulder County homes and communities for the remaining years of their lives,” according to the report.

Planning to stay in your Boulder-area home during your golden years? Help is available.

There’s a lot of long-term planning and consideration that goes into adapting your home for the physical realities of aging, but Boulder County homeowners don’t have to do it alone. Many resources are available for  older residents who want to remain in their homes for the rest of their lives. 

Here is a partial list of resources and programs that can help local residents make and implement a plan to remain in their homes as they age.

BRL Picks

👩‍🌾 Farmers Market opportunities: Want to lend a hand to support the Boulder County Farmers Market, or even make a career of it? They’re hiring various staff positions for candidates who want to “enhance their skills in event management, customer service, marketing, and knowledge of food systems.” They’re also on the lookout for volunteers to help out with weekly markets and harvest festivals in 2022. Email to get involved.

🚗 School travel study: Participants in the Boulder County School Travel Study, for families and households with students ages 9-18 who attend public schools in either of Boulder County’s two school districts, will receive a $50 gift card for participating. “Students & their parents or caregivers, are invited to participate in one 3-hour, virtual or in-person, small-group community interview session about youth travel to school & other key destinations.”

🏆 Conservation Awards: Boulder County is accepting nominations for the 2022 Conservation Awards (formally known as the Land Conservation Awards) through Wednesday, June 1. “Anyone may nominate individuals, families, community groups, or organizations that have made outstanding contributions in Boulder County in Land Conservation, Environmental Stewardship, or Cultural and Historic Preservation.”

Covid-19 Updates: May 2, 2022

  • 110 daily new cases (7-day avg.) 🔺Up 18% over preceding 7-day avg.
  • 0 patients hospitalized with Covid (7-day avg.) Down from avg. of 40 since July 2020.
  • 53% percent of ICU is occupied. Down from avg. of 71% since July 2020.

What We’re Reading

📖 Where to ski in Colorado this May: “While most of Colorado’s ski areas have shut off their lifts for the season, a few resorts are still giving skiers and boarders a chance to hold onto winter — at least for a little longer. Loveland Ski Area projects it will close sometime in early May, while Breckenridge is planning to stay open until Memorial Day, conditions permitting. Arapahoe Basin’s last day is expected to be sometime in June. Winter Park hasn’t announced a closing date, saying instead, ‘If there is snow, we will be skiing and riding!'” [CPR News]

ICYMI from BRL

🌳 How can we live more comfortably on a warming planet? Boulder wants to start by turning down the temperature. As part of a new climate change strategy, the city’s Cool Boulder campaign aims to manage its urban landscape to help pioneer a new model for adapting to more frequent wildfires, floods and heat waves.

A sharper coal pivot could be in store for Xcel Energy, according to a new settlement agreement with state regulators. Will it assuage timeline concerns among Boulder advocates? ‘Any date for shutting Pueblo unit 3 that isn’t 2022 is the wrong date,’ said Leslie Glustrom of Boulder-based Clean Energy Action, referring to the Comanche 3 coal plant. ‘The climate crisis is now clear to everyone.’

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– The BRL Team

Jezy J. Gray

Jezy Gray was the former managing editor of Boulder Reporting Lab. In addition to years of writing on the culture, politics and history of my home state of Oklahoma, he was the final editor-in-chief of the Tulsa Voice, a local bi-weekly newspaper where I led a small but mighty team of journalists to regional and national honors in feature writing, diversity reporting, LGBTQ+ coverage and more.