Celebrating the Holidays with Dementia

Published on 25 November 2015

The holidays can often be a time filled with high expectations, requiring lots of energy and engagement in non-stop activities. For the individuals and families living with Alzheimer's or a related dementia, it can be challenging and a time of high anxiety. Festivities can agitate, confuse, and overstimulate persons with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Meanwhile, caregivers can feel anxious, frustrated, and lonely.

Home for the Holidays: Signs Your Aging Loved One May Need Help

Published on 25 November 2015

The holidays are a common time for families to gather. When we live apart, we often don't realize changes are occurring in our aging loved ones until we are together for an extended period of time. If you have family members who are older, this is when you may notice changes in behavior, routines and lifestyle.

Exploring Social Media This Holiday Season

Published on 25 November 2015

Now that the holiday season is in full swing my mental checklist is full of holiday-specific things to do. Send out greeting cards and emails to friends and family: check!  Gather everyone together for a fabulous turkey dinner: check! Get my nephew to teach me more about social media: check!

Caring for a Centenarian

Published on 29 October 2015

Ninety-nine year old Roy McKinley is an amazing man. For many years he was the primary caregiver for his beloved wife, Vivian, who was confined to a wheelchair due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder. During his time caregiving for Vivian, Roy was referred to the Aging and Disability Services (ADS)  for respite care services.

Dementia: A Silent Pain in the Latino Community

Published on 29 October 2015

A couple of years ago, after an open-heart surgery, my mom started showing signs of dementia during her recovery time. None of my nine siblings were even talking about her forgetful pattern. Not because they were ignoring the signs, but because they didn't know anything about dementia.

Diabetes Education and Support: Everyone Has a Role. What's Yours?

Published on 29 October 2015

Diabetes affects everyone, not just those living with the disease, but family members, friends, the emergency response system, hospitals, behavioral health systems, employers, housing providers, and various other groups.

Good News for the Flu Season: Better Vaccine and a High-Dose Option

Published on 29 October 2015

Older adults are at greater risk for serious illness and hospitalization from the flu. Fortunately, there is a high-dose formulation that offers more protection. We sat down with Libby Page from Public Health—Seattle & King County’s Immunizations Program to find out the latest.

Senior couple at home in kitchen focusing on angry man

Elder DV May Involve Adult Children, Non-Family

Published on 1 October 2015

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. When people hear "domestic violence" or "DV," they almost always think of abuse and exploitation by an intimate partner. Although Aging and Disability Services certainly sees and serves individuals where this is the case, we see an overwhelming volume of abuse and exploitation against elders by other family members, "friends" and trusted others such as real estate agents, neighbors, financial planners, gardeners and housekeepers.

family concept (focus point on hands of the woman)

Aging with Down Syndrome

Published on 1 October 2015

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Down syndrome occurs when a person has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. It is the most commonly occurring chromosomal abnormality. One in every 691 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome.

Taking a Stand to Prevent Falls

Published on 27 August 2015

Many people take a stand on health and social issues. This year's falls prevention theme is "Take a Stand to Prevent Falls." With the first day of fall just around the corner, falls should not be "just around the corner" for older adults.

Who Do I Call?

Published on 30 June 2015

Community Living Connections (CLC) helps connect older adults, people with disabilities, and their caregivers to supports and services so they are able to live independently in the community.

Coordinated Response Helps Prevent Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation

Published on 1 June 2015

Elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States, yet a largely hidden one.

Caregiver Conference Provides Training for Family and In-Home Care Providers

Published on 2 March 2015

On June 1, 2015, caregivers from across the region have an opportunity to hear Wendy Lustbader, author and nationally known speaker on caregiving and aging issues, talk about how to keep hearts open and spirits up.

Funding Available for Caregiver Support and Community Living Connections

Published on 28 January 2015

On January 26, 2015, Aging and Disability Services released applications for funding in two service areas—Family Caregiver Support Program and Community Living Connections. Both applications are posted on the Seattle Human Services Department Funding Opportunities webpage.

Older Adults and Holiday Blues

Published on 2 December 2014

For many of us, the holidays bring the anticipation of enjoying days away from work, from school and the everyday grind of life. They are an opportunity to be with family and friends, and to celebrate in religious or secular fashion the beauty and meaning of the season. With food, gifts, music and gatherings, there's an aura about it that signifies that this is a special time, far removed from the ordinary.

Facing the Holidays after Losing a Loved One

Published on 2 December 2014

With all the joyous rituals, decorations and memories that surround the winter holidays, a recent death of a loved one can cause stress and turmoil for those who are grieving.

Personalized Caregiver Support Makes a World of Difference

Published on 30 October 2014

Would a few minutes of break time be life-changing to you?

Hospice and Palliative Care Focus on the Quality of Remaining Life

Published on 30 October 2014

November is National Hospice Month. It is both a month of gratitude for me for such a valued service and a month of remembrance for someone I loved deeply.

Dementia-friendly Innovations Expand throughout King County

Published on 30 September 2014

There's something new happening in King County. You may have noticed it in our neighborhood coffee shops, with a sign about a new monthly Alzheimer's Café. Or at the Frye Art Museum, with an arts engagement series tailored for persons living with dementia. Or at the Woodland Park Zoo, with a weekly memory loss walking group. Or at Seattle's Greenwood Public Library, with the start of an early stage memory loss book discussion group.

Aging: How Fascinating!

Published on 2 September 2014

Have you noticed how many people talk about aging as if it's a bad thing?

Economics Make a Case for Universal Design

Published on 31 July 2014

The good news is that there are a lot more of us and we're living longer. Because of that very fact, the bad news is that we are headed toward an unparalleled economic crisis that we seem woefully unprepared to meet. The crisis is our inability to pay for long-term care services and supports.

Is There a Village on Your Horizon?

Published on 31 July 2014

Have you heard about the movement toward "virtual" retirement villages? Although typically geographic, a virtual village allows you to stay in your own home with easier access to services and supports that can help you age in place successfully.

A Place at the Table. One Nation. Underfed.

Published on 2 June 2014

In King County, more people than ever before rely on food banks to feed their families. An average of 10,000 King County residents apply for food stamps each month. One in 20 county residents is enrolled in the state's Basic Food program. More information about food hardship in King County is available in Adequate Food in King County, a report by Communities Count (February 2012).

Coping with Grandkids' Emotional, Behavioral and Substance Abuse Challenges

Published on 30 April 2014

Kent grandmother Sharon Dysert-Ittner knows the anguish of families who struggle with the fallout of a child's substance abuse and behavioral challenges. Dysert-Ittner has more than 24 years of experience as a business analyst and project manager but none of the challenges she met in the financial industry compare to the struggles she and her husband face raising three adopted grandchildren.

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.

Aging Your Way Conference Will Build Community Connections

Published on 31 March 2014

One measure of aging well is being connected in your community. People who know their neighbors, are involved in community events, share their talents and accept help when they need it are less likely to be isolated, ill and lonely.

There lies the key question: How is it that some people are well-connected, thriving community members and others … not so much?  How do people get connected and what do they connect to?

Respiratory Rally Planned for People with Chronic Lung Disease

Published on 31 March 2014

Did you know that May marks not only Older Americans Month but Asthma Awareness Month as well? Sadly, asthma can get worse as we age, due to a variety of factors. Reduction in physical activity that exercises the lungs, weight gain, and smoking will exacerbate the illness.

Mature man is visiting his old father , standing in front of senior residence

When Caregivers Worry About Their Own Mental Health

Published on 27 February 2014

Caring for an adult who cannot care for himself or herself is rough work—rewarding, because we value care for our loved ones, but at times physically and mentally draining. Sometimes caregivers find themselves at wit’s end; sometimes, in despair; sometimes, angry; and sometimes, depressed.

Washington Post Caregiving Forum Highlights Challenges and Opportunities

Published on 27 February 2014

On Wednesday, February 19, Washington Post Live held a forum on caregiving at the W Hotel in Seattle. Co-sponsored by AARP, the University of Washington School of Nursing, and the Ad Council, the event was part of their Caregiving in America series, held in three cities (Chicago and Atlanta were the other two).

Conference for Caregivers: Tips & Tools for Daily Caregiving

Published on 31 January 2014

In Washington, more than 850,000 unpaid family caregivers are helping someone age 18+ to remain at home. Thousands of others serve as professional caregivers for elders and adults with disabilities in their communities. Paid or unpaid, this is important, meaningful and stressful work.

Portrait from a senior man. Picture made in a studio

The Four Essentials of End-of-Life Planning: Are You Good to Go?

Published on 31 December 2013

Try to imagine that you have suddenly lost the ability to speak for yourself due to a serious accident or because you're at the end of life. Would your spouse, partner, or family know what medical treatments you want or don't want? Have you named someone to be your health care agent? If you are seriously ill or very elderly and want to avoid having CPR, have you and your physician signed a Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form (POLST)?

Senior woman leaning on hand and looking forward.

When It's Time to Downsize

Published on 31 December 2013

My friend, Betty, recently moved from her family home to a one-bedroom supported living apartment. I asked her why she decided to move. She replied that she developed a chronic hip problem, and was no longer able to work in her garden, walk up and down stairs, or drive. Her physical condition limited her independence and access to friends, many of whom no longer drive either.

friendly male medical doctor greeting senior patient

Personal Safety Nets Help Patients Recover and Reduce Hospital Readmissions

Published on 31 December 2013

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently reported that up to 75 percent of hospital re-admissions are potentially preventable, and "by encouraging providers to reduce preventable re-admissions, the US government expects cost savings of over $26 billion in the next ten years." 

Living Well: Go For It in 2014

Published on 31 December 2013

January starts a new year and an opportunity to look at ways to take steps towards a healthier life. I have to admit, however, that committing to a health plan (for instance, making a New Year's resolution) this year is … a bit daunting.

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.

What's Normal? What's Not? Know the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's

Published on 30 October 2013

After designating a National Alzheimer's Disease Week in 1982, President Ronald Reagan helped launch a national campaign against Alzheimer's disease in 1983. President Reagan called members of the Alzheimer's Association to the White House for the signing of a proclamation declaring that November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month (NADAM). This year marks NADAM's 30th anniversary.

FHE022

How to Manage Stress: 10 Ways to Be a Healthier Alzheimer's Caregiver

Published on 30 October 2013

Are you so overwhelmed by taking care of someone else that you have neglected your own physical, mental and emotional well-being?  If you find yourself without the time to take care of your own needs, you may be putting yourself and your health at risk.

Diabetes is a Family Affair

Published on 30 October 2013

Did you know that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, a serious disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal? Most people with diabetes have type 2, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes.  At one time, type 2 diabetes was more common in people over age 45. Now more young people—even children—have the disease because many are overweight or obese.

COPD Disparities Put Women in the Spotlight

Published on 30 October 2013

Did you know that women are 37 percent more likely to have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than men and now account for more than half of all deaths attributed to COPD in our nation? More than seven million women in the United States currently have COPD, and millions more have symptoms but have not been diagnosed.

"We Love Family Caregivers" Wordfind

Published on 30 October 2013

"We Love Family Caregivers" Wordfind

A senior man looking for his medication at the local pharmacy

Addressing Medications' Impact on Oral Health

Published on 1 October 2013

Health professionals are focused on successful care transitions, to improve patient health and reduce health care spending. Too often, oral health is not a part of the conversation, even though it’s relevant to accomplishing both health and spending. There's an easy way to weave it back in and help patients improve their oral—and overall—health.

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.

Speak Up for the Needs and Rights of People with Alzheimer's

Published on 1 August 2013

Throughout August across King County, the Alzheimer's Association will hold town hall meetings to highlight—and solicit feedback on—public policy priorities. These include the National Alzheimer's Plan, an Alzheimer's Disease Plan for Washington State, and Voices for Better Health, a new initiative to improve health care for "dual eligibles"—Washington residents who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Conference for Caregivers: Tips & Tools for Daily Caregiving

Published on 29 March 2013

On Monday, June 3, 2013, family caregivers (spouses, adult children, parents of adults with disabilities, or other relatives); home care workers; adult day services, adult family home, and assisted living staff; and social service and mental health professionals who work with family caregivers are invited to attend a day-long conference for caregivers called "Challenges in Caregiving: Giving Care, Taking Care" at the Tukwila Community Center, sponsored by the Aging and Disability Services Administration, Full Life Care, and Pierce County Community Connections/Long Term Care.

The Gift of Alzheimer's

Published on 4 March 2013

Relationships are always in transition: when a neighbor moves...after a child graduates from college...as a parent ages. That's life.

Deciding What to Do with a Life's Worth of Possessions and Memories

Published on 2 January 2013

At some point in their lives, many older adults have to contend with the task of downsizing—moving from their family home to an apartment or from an apartment to assisted living or other living arrangements.

Helping Seniors Chase Away the Holiday Blues

Published on 28 November 2012

One of my dad's favorite holidays was Thanksgiving. He loved the smell of the turkey, the beautifully set table, the clambering of dishes, and the laughter of the guests. He loved to sit at the head of the table, beaming with happiness as he welcomed everyone to our table. This year will be different.

How to Manage Stress: 10 Ways to Be a Healthier Alzheimer's Caregiver

Published on 1 November 2012

Are you so overwhelmed by taking care of someone else that you have neglected your own physical, mental and emotional well-being? If you find yourself without the time to take care of your own needs, you may be putting yourself and your health at risk.

African American Caregivers Forum Set for October 6

Published on 1 October 2012

African American families and caregivers, health care and social services professionals, and older adults who want to learn more about dementia are invited to attend the 7th annual African American Caregivers Forum on Saturday, October 6

Nutrition Program for Older Adults—We Need Your Input!

Published on 1 October 2012

For over 30 years, the Senior Nutrition Program has helped older King County residents improve their diet, health, and well-being by providing home-delivered and congregate meals.

Advisory Council to Host October 1 Forum on Washington's Aging Readiness

Published on 30 August 2012

Washington state is facing a massive shift in the older adult demographic that will affect infrastructure at all levels. 

Four Kinds of People

Published on 1 August 2012

Family caregivers are the mainstay of our long-term care system. About two-thirds of non-institutionalized adults who need help with "activities of daily living" depend solely on family and close friends. 

Advisory Council Reaches Out to Beacon Hill Residents, Partners with Cleveland High School and other Community Groups

Published on 1 August 2012

Early this year, the Advisory Council for Aging and Disability Services launched a pilot project on Beacon Hill to let residents know where to find information about aging and disability issues.

Today Hank lives a healthy, more independent life in our community and no longer requires emergency assistance through the 911 system.

Fire Department Connects Residents to Health Care and Human Services

Published on 29 June 2012

Hank suffered a stroke nearly 40 years ago and has lived with side effects from that stroke ever since. He moved into an independent senior housing apartment complex in Kent, Washington. Due to balance issues and declining strength and mobility that were not being properly addressed, Hank frequently required the assistance of 911 crews.

Conference for Caregivers: Tips & Tools for Daily Caregiving

Published on 29 February 2012

Conference for Caregivers: Tips & Tools for Daily Caregiving

Help Available to Make Caregiving a Positive Experience

Published on 2 March 2012

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, the average number of hours spent caring for loved ones nationally is 20 hours per week, with about 13 percent of caregivers providing 40 hours of care a week or more.

Caregiver Support Helps Persons with Dementia Remain with Family

Published on 2 March 2012

Don Samman brought his mother Donna into his home over a year ago, when she was diagnosed with dementia and having trouble remembering to take her diabetes medication.

Caregiving Affects Mental, Physical and Financial Health

Published on 2 March 2012

Over the past decade there have been more and more family caregivers. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance website, more than 43 million caregivers in the U.S. provide care for someone age 50 or older.