The Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative (CAFCI) invites you to assemble at the Third Street Center from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 21.

There’s a gray wave washing over America. Ever more of us are seniors over 65. In 2010 there were 4,724 in Garfield County. In 2020, we’ll nearly double that number. By 2030 we’ll add 5,000.

In 2020 9 percent of seniors will be over 85; 16 percent by 2030. This is personal to me, I’ll join the 85-plus cohort in 2026. Who will take care of us? We had fewer children than previous generations and we’re living longer. The communities we built seem unprepared for the challenges we pose.

So, we have to keep taking care of one another and rebuilding our communities. Many of us don’t just need services; we can and do serve others. CAFCI is working to make our community age-friendlier to all ages, including seniors without excluding anyone. Our trustees, commissions and town staff are working with us, and thanks to our partnership with Senior Matters, we’re off to a good start.

In June, Carbondale committed to the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, giving us access to national and international expertise and funding. We want you to join Mayor Dan Richardson, AARP Associate Director Roberto Rey, Senior Matters Chair John Hoffman, CAFCI leaders and 20 organizations. We’ll learn about using what’s available to us form the AARP Network and talk about how building it. Together, we’ll surf the gray wave instead of floundering in it.

Ron Kokish