Eight Success Stories in 2015

Published on 25 November 2015

December mark's the end of my term as chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. Our mission has been to identify the needs of older people and adults with disabilities in our community; advise on services to meet these needs; and advocate for local, state and national programs that promote quality of life for these populations.

Let Your Optimism Grow

Published on 29 October 2015

I don't know why we so often wait for November and Thanksgiving to focus on thankfulness. I find that thankfulness improves optimism and hope.

Wakeup Call Led to Rewarding Work with Veterans

Published on 29 October 2015

My life changed immediately and permanently with one early morning phone call on the 15th of August 2007. I had been unable to work—or even look for work—with any energy for over a year. I thought that maybe this was just my version of aging.

Foster Grandparents Support Youth Academic Learning

Published on 27 August 2015

At the vibrant Washington Middle School in Seattle's Central District, two special volunteers arrive, not only day in and day out, but year in and year out. Both volunteers are part of the Foster Grandparent Program, a unique intergenerational tutoring and mentoring program that links elders with at-risk youth.

Stay Connected: Get to Know Your Neighbors

Published on 30 July 2015

I think of Dori Gillam's article ("The Village Model: Everyone has Something to Contribute to Aging in Place") as sort of a Village Model 101—enough to get you started plus links to local resources. For many people, membership in a virtual village ensures many more years of aging in place, not only because of the services available but opportunities to stay connected.

The Village Model: Everyone Has Something to Contribute to Aging in Place

Published on 30 July 2015

Where do you envision living as you age? In the same place you are now? In a place you can call "home" (instead of a hospital-like-care-setting)?What will you do if you are still active and involved, but you need a little help keeping your living space repaired and cleaned? Or need a ride to an evening event because you no longer wish to drive at night?

The ADA at 25: Continuing to Make Your Life Better

Published on 30 June 2015

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. It is a civil rights law.

Many Senior Athletes Prefer Building Character to Breaking Records

Published on 30 June 2015

Making friends—even with those you compete against—has always been a major factor bringing athletes back to the Games year after year. Lifelong friendships are forged on the track field, the soccer field, on both sides of the volleyball and pickleball nets.

Things I Know for Sure About Successful Aging

Published on 1 June 2015

Oprah knows a lot of things for sure. If you didn't know that, click here. She knows a few things about aging, too (click here). But there are two things I know for sure about aging that aren't on her lists, and they are backed up time and time again by current research.

Enjoy a Day of Learning at Seattle University

Published on 1 June 2015

Would you like go back to college and not worry about homework or taking tests? Do you want to be taught by dynamic professors who know that older adults want stimulating and engaging opportunities for learning?

The Age of Disruption

Published on 29 April 2015

Dr. Bill Thomas, one of the most innovative and creative thinkers working in medicine today, brings a radical new approach to growth and aging through his "non-fiction" theatrical events.

Making a Difference in Retirement

Published on 31 March 2015

The last several years of my employment were challenging. I started my career 50 years ago, working with civil rights agencies. I longed for the fulfillment I experienced when doing work that made a difference in the lives of people. As I contemplated retirement, my priority was to do things that I would enjoy and make a difference in the lives of others.

Where There's Hope, There's Life

Published on 31 March 2015

Many of us face health challenges, perhaps even life-altering events. A positive attitude combined with the skills and confidence to deal effectively with the hurdles, obstacles, and challenge we find thrown into our paths can make a big difference in our health status and outcome.

Make Earth Day Count

Published on 31 March 2015

Can our actions now make a difference in reducing the negative effects of climate change for future generations? We need to assume they can.

Who Inspires You?

Published on 31 March 2015

King County is filled with older adults whose lives inspire us about how to age with grace, enthusiasm, creativity, hope, and energy. They quietly make life better for others even as their years advance.

Let's Disrupt Aging

Published on 31 March 2015

As I begin my tenure as CEO of AARP, I challenge all of us to reimagine what it means to get older. Let's disrupt aging. Let's upend our thinking around what it means to get older.

Social Workers Drive Change, Empower People

Published on 2 March 2015

March is National Social Work Month. This year also happens to be the 60th anniversary of the National Association of Social Work.

Changing the Way We Think about Alzheimer's—One Painting at a Time

Published on 5 January 2015

We hear a lot about Alzheimer's and dementia these days. Almost always, the stories are depressing—sometimes terrifying. Visions of a demented fog without dignity or meaning. Those with the disease spoken of in the past tense—empty shells where someone used to be.

Celebrate Neighbor Appreciation Day on Valentine's Day

Published on 5 January 2015

There is another fun reason to recognize Valentine's Day—this year, it's also Seattle's Annual Neighbor Appreciation Day! It’s a day set aside to reach out to neighbors, create new friends, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live. Residents, community groups, and businesses will join together on Saturday, February 14 (and the week of) to celebrate.

Make a Difference in the Life of an Elder

Published on 2 December 2014

There are as many reasons to volunteer as there are volunteers. Anyone can volunteer, and they do—every day—in communities like ours across the country. But more than any other time of year, the holidays bring out our compassionate nature. We count our blessings and take stock of our own good fortune. We question how we can do more, not just to achieve the sense of well-being that accompanies doing something kind for others, but to truly commit to helping someone in need.

Healthy Aging Film Festival is Fun for All!

Published on 30 June 2014

The Healthy Aging Partnership Film Short Festival that took place on May 6, during Older Americans Month, at the Naked City Brewery in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood, was educational, heartwarming and—most of all—fun!

Aging Your Way: Ideas, Action, and Get-Crazy-Connected!

Published on 2 June 2014

How would you like to join 299 other local folks to help build cohesive, interdependent communities that support healthy aging in King County? Yes? Then register for the Aging Your Way Community Connections Conference:  Moving from I to We on Thursday, June 26, 2014 (8:30–4:00 p.m.) at South Seattle College (6000 16th Avenue SW, Seattle).

Why You Should Wear Purple on June 15

Published on 2 June 2014

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15. This year's theme is "One person. Once action. One Nation. United against elder abuse."

Shout It from the Rooftops

Published on 30 April 2014

For years we've heard Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) called "your best kept secret." What's with that? AAAs have been in existence for more than 40 years. Perhaps it's time to shout it from the rooftops.

ADS Nurses Provide Essential Care and Support

Published on 30 April 2014

Did you know that the City of Seattle has nurses on staff? Many people are surprised to learn that the Aging and Disability Services (ADS) Case Management Program employs nurses. Currently, ADS has nine nurses who work nurse consultants and care transition coaches. Two of the nurses also work as chronic care managers.

Turning the Tide on Your Attitude about Aging

Published on 31 March 2014

We hear so many disparaging remarks about growing old. I suspect each of us is guilty of making those comments at times. Let's turn the tide. Let's be kind to ourselves and each other. Let's continue to build on what we've got—extraordinary experience, wisdom, humor, and grace. When we look in the mirror, let's say, "I meant to do that!" Gray hair? I earned every one of them!

Feel the Energy, Feel the Friendship at Local Senior Centers

Published on 31 March 2014

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I asked local senior center directors to send a few. They tell part of the story, but as Wallingford's Kathleen Cromp put it, "it's hard to show the real energy in a photo." You've got to see it for yourself!

Reel of Film --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Film Fest Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act

Published on 31 March 2014

Films used to portray older people with a limited number of stereotypes—doddering or irascible, dirty old men, guilt-provoking mothers, simple and forgetful, stuck in the past. Fortunately, the lens widened. Several major Hollywood films show older people with as full a range of needs, personalities and aspirations as other generations. Films as diverse as the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Philomena, Nebraska and documentaries such as Gotta Dance and Alive Inside portray older people as complex, compelling, funny and real.

The Golden Jubilee of the Civil Rights Act

Published on 31 January 2014

In February 2014—Black History Month—we celebrate The Golden Jubilee of the Civil Rights Act. Individuals, groups and organizations throughout the country will host a variety of activities to celebrate the continuing significance of the Act passed 50 years ago and the significant contributions African Americans have made throughout the history of the United States.

Storytelling Goes Digital

Published on 31 January 2014

Digital storytelling is a practice with roots in the 1970s and 80s. With the advance of digital technology—especially smart phones that snap a photo or capture action so conveniently—the opportunities for using this technique are endless. Anyone with a camera and a newer computer can share family history, personal accounts of meaningful experiences, educational information, and images and information that can change their future.

10 Creative Ideas for Greener Giving

Published on 2 December 2013

This winter holiday season, the average American plans to spend more than $500 on gifts for friends and family, according to a retail industry survey. That's a big hit on our wallets, but we also need to consider the impact of all that "stuff" on the planet.

Holiday Hints from our Online Friends

Published on 2 December 2013

A few weeks ago we asked Silver & Gold—Seattle & King County friends to put on their thinking caps and send us their favorite ideas for holiday gifts and activities with older friends and family.

Veterans' Honors Quilt Depicts Heroism Beyond Words

Published on 30 October 2013

Tears filled my eyes when first I saw the beautiful red, white and blue veteran's quilt with my late father's name written on it. Raymond Snow was a 21-year-old infantry sergeant with the army's 75th Division in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944–45, the coldest European winter in over a century. Dad didn't talk much about the war, but I remember vividly how he described the cold during the battle and how his foxhole buddy was killed by a German bullet.

Reel of Film --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Local Film Festival to Honor 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act

Published on 30 October 2013

The Healthy Aging Partnership—a coalition of nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individuals in Seattle-King County—has issued a call for short films about positive aging (i.e., with energy, vitality, creativity and compassion).

Why I Walk to End Alzheimer's

Published on 29 August 2013

Our vision at the Alzheimer's Association is a world without Alzheimer's. One way you can help us make that happen is by participating in one of our Walks to End Alzheimer's. This is our largest awareness builder and fundraiser each year. The money raised goes directly to Alzheimer's programs and services—such as our 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, education and support groups—as well as research, all in support of individuals and families, like mine, who have been directly affected by Alzheimer's and related dementias.

dancers in the park

Dancing and Life: Making Every Step Count

Published on 28 June 2013

For most people, movement is essential. For those living with a chronic condition like arthritis, it can also be painful, but it's important to move our joints daily.

She Chops Onions and Assembles Condom Kits

Published on 31 May 2013

On May 9, Dotti Lydon received the Senior Services Inspire Positive Aging Award. The award is given out each year to senior individuals whose lives are marked by engagement and service.     

Inspire Positive Aging!

Published on 1 May 2013

The title of the award that Senior Services bestows annually upon senior citizens says it all. The Inspire Positive Aging award recognizes individuals whose lives are marked by engagement, service, and a certain joie de vivre. These characteristics inspire those who know them and are why Senior Services recognizes one outstanding individual each spring.

Two AARP Volunteers Make a Difference in Our Community

Published on 1 May 2013

Janet Lam-Rogers of Seattle and her husband Toby Rogers are a volunteering power couple. Janet volunteers for the AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program two days a week, where she helps low-income taxpayers file their taxes at the Ballard and Shoreline libraries. Toby works in the Foundation’s Fraud Fighter Call Center in north Seattle, which helps battle financial scams.

Making a Difference: Claire Anderson

Published on 1 May 2013

Before I met her in person, friends told me about Claire Anderson. I was impressed hearing their stories about how Claire encouraged them to start writing their life stories.

RSVP Matches Volunteer Interests, Skills and Schedules with Meaningful Jobs

Published on 29 March 2013

No stranger to volunteering, Sarah Parkhurst bustles her way through Wellspring Family Service's Baby Boutique every Thursday, sorting clothing donations, baby equipment, diapers, infant formula, toys, books and other essential items that are then made available at no cost to homeless families in need.

Dig In for the Earth

Published on 29 March 2013

April is Earth Day month (Earth Day is April 22), and it's a great time to consider "green volunteering." Many eco-volunteer opportunities involve being outside, and who doesn't want to be outside in the Northwest in the spring and summer?

Healthy Aging Partnership Builds Coalition for Nearly 20 Years

Published on 29 March 2013

The Healthy Aging Partnership (HAP) is an informal coalition of more than 30 nonprofit, government, and community organizations—primarily in King County, WA—created to tap into the collective strengths, skills, ideas, and resources of organizations and professionals serving older residents of the Puget Sound region.

Community Kitchens: Good Food, Cooking Skills, Fresh Ideas & New Friends

Published on 4 March 2013

In community kitchens, we bring people together in a common kitchen and prepare large amounts of food to share. Everyone gets involved in the cooking, and cleaning, and we all share the food that is made. 

Time is Money—And It's a Good Thing

Published on 2 January 2013

How would you like to have someone weed your yard for free? Or tutor your child in math? Or de-bug your computer—again, for free?! Timebanking is one way to save you money. And it's happening here in Puget Sound. The only cost?  Some of your time.


Pike Market Senior Center Caroling Contest Draws Thousands

Published on 28 November 2012

The Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition, now in its 26th figtabulous year, is both a very popular destination event and a fundraiser for Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank.

Service Dogs: Are They for Real?

Published on 1 November 2012

We've all seen people in public places who are accompanied by dogs that they claim are service dogs. Like us, you may have questioned the legitimacy of some of these dogs. We would like to share both practical and personal information about service dogs.

Discovering Talents and Interests that Make Life Meaningful

Published on 1 October 2012

We have all heard the expression: "Old age and cunning will defeat youth and strength every time." Well, there may be more truth to the saying than one realizes.

Deepening Self-Knowledge and Forging Connections with Others

Published on 1 October 2012

People who attend conversations, courses, and events presented by Northwest Center for Creative Aging (NWCCA) span a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but share a common goal—they want to learn more about themselves and about what it means to age well.

Drum Group Helps Muscles and Coordination and Lifts Spirits

Published on 1 May 2012

Admit it. It's hard not to tap your foot or clap along when you hear good music. Being one with the music makes you feel good. It brings joy to the heart and soul.

Walk Bike Ride Challenge

Published on 1 May 2012

Looking for some motivation to get active this spring? The City of Seattle's Walk Bike Ride Challenge is a great motivator! 

Arts & Healthy Aging: The Evidence is Clear

Published on 2 April 2012

In 2006, Gene D. Cohen, MD released a groundbreaking longitudinal study that measured the effects of participatory arts on older adults.

Transforming Lives Through the Creative Process

Published on 2 April 2012

Path with Art is a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to providing adults recovering from homelessness and those "on the margins" the opportunity to engage in the creative process as a unique means to improve and rebuild their lives.

Disability & the Arts: A Conversation with Andrea Parsek and Kelly Rondou

Published on 2 April 2012

ART is NOT an OPTION! is an innovative art program designed to provide artists with disabilities studio workshops and the opportunity to showcase artwork in the community.

Senior Lobby Day: Budget Looking Better For Now

Published on 29 February 2012

On February 23, six Aging and Disability Services (ADS) Advisory Council members travelled to Olympia to participate in the Washington Senior Citizens Foundation’s annual Senior Lobby Day.

Who Do You Know Who Exemplifies Positive Aging?

Published on 29 February 2012

King County is filled with older people whose lives inspire us about how to age with grace, enthusiasm, creativity, hope, and energy.