It’s time for change, not politics as usual.
In 1984, Governor Lamm appointed me to serve on the Colorado Commission on Aging. That experience led me to introduce the Older Coloradans Act, which is still law. As a retired person myself, I understand and experience the problems facing older citizens. I will work tirelessly to make sure that seniors receive the respect and dignity we deserve in our golden years.
As your State Representative:
1. I will make sure that we do everything we can to stop predators from taking advantage of senior citizens through scams and consumer rip offs. I believe stealing from a senior, or victimizing them through a scam should be an aggravating circumstance that brings a harsher penalty.
2. I will work to ensure that seniors receive the level of care they need, whether through a home-health program, assisted living, or a nursing home. The state needs to be diligent in inspections to make sure all rules and regulations are being strictly enforced.
3. I will work toward zero tolerance for elder abuse, whether it takes place at an institution or at home. I will work to make sure abusers are prosecuted. If current laws are insufficient, I’ll work to enhance them.
4. I will work to make sure that retired women do not suffer in their golden years as a result of our state and nation’s negligence allowing pay discrimination to take place for so long. Many retired women who live alone have a tough time because throughout their lives, they were paid less than men even if they did the same work. As a result, their Social Security checks are typically smaller than a man’s. I will make sure that LEAP is funded so low-income seniors do not go without heat.
5. I will work to ensure that when the time comes for a senior to give up their car, adequate transportation is available to allow them to remain independent, able to get to doctor appointments, Church, and social functions.
6. I will protect retired public employees who depend on their PERA pension from efforts to under fund it or change the rules in mid-stream.
Seniors face problems in Colorado. Many worry that Congress will cut or privatize Social Security, or turn Medicare into a voucher program. Our own Congressman, Mike Coffman called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and voted to eliminate Medicare as we know it. So, we have reason for concern. Although these are federal issues, I will fight long and hard to protect Social Security and Medicare from assault by the budget-cutting and privatization axes in Congress. There are things the State can do for seniors.
I will fight attempts to raid pension funds or pass laws that diminish the pensions that retired persons, including public employees, depend on.
Despite the Older Coloradans Act, seniors continue to face abuse and neglect, often at the hands of their own families. They still face a risk of abuse or neglect in nursing homes. We must be diligent to protect those who are the most vulnerable in society. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are maladies that threaten many seniors, and reduce their quality of life. We must make sure that seniors get the care they need if they suffer from these maladies. We must protect seniors from scams and rip-offs.