One for the Money, Two for the Show...

...three to get ready, and go, go go!

Carl Perkins' song, "Blue Suede Shoes," comes to mind when I think of September's emphasis on falls prevention and emergency preparedness. It's not because of money, racing, or shoes. It's this: It's time to get ready—and there's so much to do!

Governor Jay Inslee has declared September 22–28, 2013 as Fall Prevention Awareness Week. Learn more on the Aging and Disability Services falls prevention webpage.


September is National Emergency Preparedness Month and National Falls Prevention Month. Both are vitally important. And they're related—both take planning and preparation to ensure personal, family, and community safety.

Anyone who has fallen and broken a hip can describe their personal disaster—cut off from services, isolated perhaps, and unable to function in their home and community with any sense of comfort and security.

This month's issue of AgeWise King County includes two articles on falls prevention—what you can do to prevent falls, plus some of the excellent falls prevention work done by a number of Aging and Disability Services (ADS) staff and their clients.

Two articles about emergency preparedness are sure to inspire. Debbie Goetz from the Seattle Office of Emergency Preparedness provides an unusual spin on emergency response with an article about two dogs rescued from the wilderness with the help of maxi pads and duct tape. ADS planner Mary Pat O'Leary shares her perspective on emergency preparedness as a result of her mother's experience in the 1997 floods in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

We round out the issue with two articles related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Did you know that Alzheimer's is currently the third leading cause of death in Washington state? Or that more than 150,000 Washington residents have Alzheimer's or a related dementia? Or that, without a cure, that number will triple within 40 years? ADS works with the Alzheimer's Association to provide caregiver support and training. Read more in this issue.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to a special event. The Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services is hosting a transportation forum on Friday, September 13. You are invited to attend and hear about the transportation challenges facing our region, particularly funding.

Improving transportation services, with adequate funding for public transportation and special need services, has been a high legislative priority of our Advisory Council and Area Agencies on Aging across Washington state; however, we are facing large cuts in transportation funding. It's not a pretty picture.

If you would like to get involved in special needs transportation advocacy, please come to the forum and also review our Advisory Council's advocacy webpage and advocacy resources listed in the Advisory Council toolkit.

The Washington State Senior Lobby meets in October. You'll find information about its conference at www.waseniorlobby.org. Join us!

—Tony Provine, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging and Disability Services