written by India Butler, Intern at Foothills United Way
"Using the term senior citizen to describe every-one over 60 is like using motor vehicle to describe every-thing from a moped to a Maserati."
John Newcomb -senior in the Broomfield community
John Newcomb, a senior in the Broomfield community, has lived an interesting life. John was born in Southeast Oklahoma, but after twenty-three years in the Navy he has lived all over the world. After retiring from the Navy, John felt a calling to work with a very specific population: troubled teenagers. He worked for over twenty years at various programs that helped to get young adults back on their feet, and John greatly enjoyed this work.
Almost ten years ago, John moved to the Broomfield area to be closer to his family. He originally moved into an apartment complex, but after the rent climbed at an unforeseen rate, John had to leave. In searching for a new home, John simply wanted to find the nicest place he could afford. But he soon came to find that Broomfield does not have a large selection of affordable housing options, especially for senior citizens. John’s response to my question about housing availability in Broomfield sums it up well: “there isn’t any”.
After searching all over Broomfield for affordable housing, John was left with only one option, to purchase a mobile home. His mobile home has treated him well until recently when he fell and broke his hip. With this surgery and the structure of a mobile home, John is not able to go up the steps to get into his mobile home. This is becoming a crucial problem for him and other seniors as senior housing is not widely available or affordable in the Broomfield area. His fall has prevented him from easy access to his home and has forced him to look into independent or assisted living options, which are extremely expensive.
This issue has got John thinking. A while ago, John proposed an idea to the Senior Resources of Broomfield. He envisions a senior citizen modular home park. A modular home differs from a mobile home because it can be set on a foundation, reducing the element of steps, which caters more to the senior community. John proposes creating a handicap oriented modular home, with access to resources and a community center for the senior, which is only available to low-income individuals.
Broomfield is aware of this situation and is making strides to provide more affordable housing for the community. This fall, Broomfield is completing a study to compile a detailed assessment of all current living conditions and projecting trends as to where the city is heading. This is a great first step for understanding the current housing situation and hopefully with this information, Broomfield will be able to move forward by providing affordable housing to all.
Broomfield is a great location with many assets that support the community. It has plenty of shopping options, access to public transportation, entertainment, and medical services. Broomfield has a wonderful recreational center that caters to all ages. But the need for services is growing, especially for senior citizens.
John concluded with an interesting point: “using the term senior citizen to describe everyone over 60 is like using motor vehicle to describe everything from a moped to a Maserati”. Many people think their life as a senior citizen will consist of playing multiple rounds of golf at the country club and going out for dancing at night. However, some senior citizens rely on the services their community provides to simply get to the grocery store or attend a doctor’s appointment. John shows us how important the senior citizen resources are to so many senior citizens and it is our duty as members of Broomfield to support our community.