Eva Veitch is a woman of passion. “Whatever I do, I do big,” she admits. For more than 25 years she has worked at different positions serving the elderly, gaining the experience to understand and handle the very big job she has now.
As director of community living services for Region 10, she has found her perfect position. She administers the Older American Act which is designed to help keep people over the age of 60, happy, and healthy and living in their community of choice for as long as possible.
“We get our funding from the state and federal government,” she explained “and we’re charged with providing support and services to the elder residents of our six county region such as transportation, legal assistance, nutrition programs, caregiver support, the long term care and ombudsman work. (Ombudsman is a Swedish word which essentially means advocate.)
They go into nursing homes and assisted living facilities to advocate for the people living there. “We pride ourselves on helping them find their own voice and learning how to solve their own issues when there’s a problem,” she explained. “We also help facilitate communication. Sometimes it can be communication between the resident and family members or employees.”
Veitch supervises all the programs. On her desk is a plaque for winning the “herding cats” award.
She spent five years in her first job in the field working as an activities director in a nursing home. Her path was clear from then on, with jobs opening at assisted living facilities over the next 10 years. She ran All Points Transit for a year and helped Volunteers of America open the PACE program in 2007.
“So all of that experience led up to my knowing that elder care is my passion. It’s what I do best; I enjoy it and I’m grateful every day that I get to do meaningful work.”
Veitch is a Colorado native, born in Craig. She has been married to Jim Veitch for 15 years. She has one daughter and one granddaughter. Jim has three children from a previous marriage, and three grandsons.
After a day of hard work at Region 10, she enjoys returning to her home on Government Springs Road, south of Montrose. She and Jim had the house built in 2007. “It is peaceful with lots of wildlife and great mountain views, one of my favorite things is sitting on the front deck with a glass of wine enjoying the beautiful Colorado mountains.”
For fun, she and her husband go camping. “We have a really nice camper, not a big one, but it has everything we need and we go every chance we get. We just love being in nature. My favorite place to camp is anywhere there are mountains, trees and a nice creek or mountain stream, we have found about four places within a two-hour drive from home that we love.”
They are are planning a “Gold Rush” camp trip next summer to go visit ghost towns in Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. “We just love adventures,” she said. “We usually have our ATV with us when we go camping and spend a lot of time exploring the back roads and two-tracks. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place.
They are excited about a “bucket list” vacation to Alaska planned for this fall. “My husband is older than me and we have a non-traditional retirement.”
Part of non-traditional is the skydiving gift Eva gave Jim for his recent birthday. She’s still working but they make the most of the time they have together.
Veitch is a member of the service club, Altrusa. “We do a lot of great things that pour money back into the community to support worthwhile activities. This year I’m the co-chair of the Voice of the San Juans. The Voice is based on the TV show ‘The Voice.’ We just had the blind auditions and chose the 12 finalists. On Sept. 23 those 12 will be judged by the audience. The winner will receive $1,000.
Veitch is a fortunate woman and she knows it. She’s grateful for fulfilling work, a loving relationship and the opportunity to live in Colorado.