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.

Bah Humbug: Consumers Not Prepared for Holiday Scammers

Published on 25 November 2015

With the holidays upon us, a new survey from the AARP Fraud Watch Network shows the traditional season for giving may become a peak time for taking among con-artists targeting Washington consumers.

Take Action Against Poverty—Senior Volunteers Make the Difference!

Published on 25 November 2015

Perhaps you are interested in making a direct impact in your community, but don't know where to start. Good news—we have a great volunteering opportunity waiting for you!

Businessman and businesswoman shake hands over a conference table. Horizontal shot.

What Do You Plan to Do After Age 50?

Published on 29 October 2015

This thing called “life” has been a huge adventure and I'm only 55 years old! Statistics show that—with a healthy lifestyle of diet, exercise and stress free lifestyle—many Boomers will live past the ripe age of 100. I plan to be one of those people and stick around for the next 50 years. 

We're All Aging … And What a Wonderful Thing!

Published on 1 October 2015

Consider: In 1850 the average life expectancy was 35 years of age; in 1900 it was 47; and in 2000 it was 70 years of age. Today, two-thirds of the entire historical human population is alive. This is a huge demographic and sort of evolutionary change.

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.

Shady Signals—Washington Wireless Users Unaware, Unprepared for Online Attacks

Published on 1 October 2015

With the latest in smart phones, tablets, and wireless web access, staying connected has never been easier. The power of wireless computing and communications puts information and resources just a click away at home or at our favorite coffee shop.

2015 Property Values: Q&A with the King County Assessor

Published on 1 October 2015

2015 Property Values: Q&A with the King County Assessor

Neighbors Exchange Time to Help Neighbors

Published on 30 July 2015

Dean Peloquin is just starting to offer yoga classes so it was a natural he would travel to one client's home and another client's office to give personalized lessons. But he wasn't given money for either class. Nor was he reimbursed in cash for the six to eight hours he spent cleaning and painting the basements of two homes.

Medicare: Keeping Us Healthy for 50 Years

Published on 30 July 2015

Fifty years ago, on July 30, 1965, the landscape of health care in America changed forever when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed landmark legislation giving life to the Medicare and Medicaid programs. As we commemorate Medicare's 50th anniversary, we celebrate the legacy of the program and commit ourselves to keep it strong for current and future generations.

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.

Action Needed, Now and for Our Future

Published on 31 March 2015

Sometime this month, we will learn whether the State Legislature has done the right thing for fragile elders and adults with disabilities who benefit from the long-term care case management services provided by Aging and Disability Services (ADS).

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.

Everyday Behaviors Put Residents at Greater Risk of Tax ID Theft

Published on 2 March 2015

While it's tax season for Washington consumers, unfortunately it's also open season for scam artists looking to steal your personal information. The Washington State Attorney General's Office and the AARP Fraud Watch Network have launched an educational effort to help people protect themselves from tax scams.

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.

Time is Running Out! Health Insurance Open Enrollment Ends Feb. 15

Published on 28 January 2015

We've reached Year Two of the Health Insurance Marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act. Millions of previously uninsured—and uninsurable—people got coverage in the first year. My friend, Kathy, was one of them.

Are Your Social Security Benefits Taxable?

Published on 28 January 2015

If you've recently begun receiving Social Security benefits or plan to apply in the near future, you may be wondering this tax season: are Social Security benefits taxable?

New Ways to Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Money

Published on 5 January 2015

Starting January 13, 2015, any household making $60,000 or less can have their taxes prepared for free by United Way of King County's Free Tax Campaign at 25 locations across King County.

"Hub" Model Will Increase Equity and Access

Published on 5 January 2015

Communities have long considered how to distribute services in a way that is accessible, equitable, and coordinated. We know that individuals frequently rely on a network of services and that geographic location is closely tied to access and wellbeing. Without attention to the important issue of geographic equity, supports can become highly concentrated in some areas and not others, leading to "service rich" and "service poor" communities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Community Living Connections

Published on 5 January 2015

Aging and Disability Services is in the process of forming a Community Living Connection-Aging and Disability Resource Network (CLC-ADRN) in Seattle-King County. Services will be available in 2015.

Health Plan Enrollment Season Now Open

Published on 5 January 2015

In just the first year of expanded access under the federal Affordable Care Act, more than a third of the uninsured residents in King County have enrolled in a health insurance plan. Now, King County is redoubling efforts to reach the remaining uninsured. The state's second "Open Enrollment" season launched in mid-November.

Man in despair over bills

Reduce your High Winter Lighting and Heat Bills

Published on 2 December 2014

Did you know that it may be possible to reduce your high winter heating bills and summer water bills? The City of Seattle's Utility Discount Program helps low-income residents stay current on utility payments by offering a discount of about 60 percent on Seattle City Light bills and 50 percent on Seattle Public Utilities bills. (Not a Seattle resident? Read about the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in the box below.)

Empower Your Community and Take Action Against Poverty

Published on 30 October 2014

Are you a senior interested in making a difference in your community? Have you been looking for a reason to volunteer, but haven't found the right fit just yet? United Way of King County has a volunteering opportunity for you!

Metro to Offer Reduced Fare for Qualified Low-income Riders

Published on 30 September 2014

Metro bus service will become more affordable for tens of thousands of our customers next March when we introduce a reduced fare for people with low incomes.

Mobile Dental Vans and Volunteers Make a Difference

Published on 30 September 2014

Oral health is very important in overall health and wellness, but many local seniors have difficulty accessing dental health services. Left untreated, dental issues progress to dental disease. Many people without dental coverage turn to emergency rooms with cases that could be treated more effectively in a dental office.

Washington Gets High Marks for Serving Older, Disabled Residents

Published on 2 September 2014

A new report shows that Washington State's long term care system ranks 2nd in the nation, but AARP and other aging advocates caution that budget pressures threaten to turn the clock backwards on Washington's high quality and cost effective approach.

Revisiting King County's Senior Housing Crisis

Published on 31 July 2014

Here it is In a nutshell: More than 900 additional affordable senior housing units are needed each year until 2025.

Options for Meeting the Housing Needs of Seniors

Published on 31 July 2014

Few of us enjoy moving. Even if we are excited about buying our first home, or moving to a new town for a dream job, the process of searching for the right house or apartment, packing, and leaving a familiar environment can be a stressful time. For older adults, considering a move might also include other stressors, such as fear of losing independence and sadness over leaving the neighborhood where they raised their children.

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.

Are You Eligible for Property Tax Relief?

Published on 31 July 2014

The King County Assessor's Office annually values over 700,000 parcels and physically inspects 1/6th of the County each year. Property owners in King County should have received or will receive their 2014 property valuation in the mail between the months of June through October.

Seventy-nine and Still Going Strong

Published on 31 July 2014

For the past 79 years, Social Security has maintained its place as an American cornerstone. Secure as its foundation is, Social Security has also been at the forefront of change. As the face of America has evolved over the course of the last eight decades, so too has Social Security changed along with the needs of the nation.

fresh vegetables on napkin, rustic style photo

Food for Thought

Published on 2 June 2014

This month's issue of AgeWise King County focuses on food and nutrition. But not all food equates to nutrition. As Mario Batali points out above, some food only postpones hunger. In fact, some food is so devoid of nutrients that it satisfies for only an hour and leaves the body starving for more.

Fresh Bucks: Double Your EBT Dollars at Seattle Farmers Markets

Published on 2 June 2014

The popular Fresh Bucks program has returned for a third season at all Seattle farmers markets and two farm stands. Fresh Bucks gives low-income shoppers using Basic Food benefits (SNAP/food stamps) more buying power to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. In doing so, Fresh Bucks allows low-income shoppers to purchase the healthiest, freshest options without breaking the bank.The popular Fresh Bucks program has returned for a third season at all Seattle farmers markets and two farm stands. Fresh Bucks gives low-income shoppers using Basic Food benefits (SNAP/food stamps) more buying power to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. In doing so, Fresh Bucks allows low-income shoppers to purchase the healthiest, freshest options without breaking the bank.

CENTS Launches Project to Protect Washington Seniors

Published on 30 April 2014

Why did the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton rob banks? "That's where the money is," he said. Scammers who prey on senior citizens have the same mentality.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Low-Income Seniors

Published on 30 April 2014

Applications for the 2014 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with $40 checks that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs throughout King County, will be available on Tuesday, April 15 through Thursday, May 15 on the program website.

Dust Off Your Financial Plan

Published on 31 March 2014

Well, spring has sprung, but before you get started with spring cleaning, perhaps another matter deserves some dusting off—your long-term financial plan.

Advisory Council Members Make Some Noise on "Quiet" Lobby Day

Published on 27 February 2014

It's an annual tradition and a crucial opportunity: A group of Advisory Council members went down to Olympia for Senior Lobby Day on Thursday, February 20. They met with their legislators to discuss several bills and funding concerns. And they got to hear Governor Jay Inslee and others talk about the needs of Washington’s older adults, the challenges and opportunities facing the state's long-term care systems, and many serious concerns about Washington's regressive tax system.

Half Apple --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Help Create a Hunger-Free King County

Published on 27 February 2014

Did you know that 30 percent of seniors must choose between food and medical expenses? Or that 65 percent of seniors eligible for food stamps—our best frontline defense against hunger—don't access the benefit? 

Seattle-Based NAPCA Serves AAPI Elders across the United States

Published on 31 January 2014

A national service and advocacy organization committed to the dignity, well-being and quality of life of AAPI elders as they age, NAPCA was founded in Seattle in 1979 when APA advocates saw the growing unmet needs of AAPI seniors. Today, NAPCA serves over 10,000 AAPI seniors nationally through the Seattle headquarters and program offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

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." 

Keep More of Your Hard Earned Money

Published on 31 December 2013

Have you heard? Any household making $52,000 or less can have their taxes prepared for free at 19 locations throughout King County from United Way of King County.

The ABCs (and D) of Medicare

Published on 31 December 2013

Medicare is health insurance for people receiving Social Security who are age 65 or older or those who have received Social Security disability benefits for more than two years. Some people are covered only by one of the four parts of Medicare; others opt to pay extra for more coverage. Understanding Medicare can save you money.

Inpatient or Observation Status—A Significant Difference!

Published on 2 December 2013

We work, we contribute, and when we turn 65, major medical expenses are covered by Medicare, right? Not always. Medicare beneficiaries can actually get stuck with huge hospital bills.

Spread the Tax Refund Love

Published on 30 October 2013

Looking for an engaging volunteer opportunity to help families in your community and practice a new skill? United Way of King County is recruiting 1,000 volunteers for its Free Tax Campaign, which will serve thousands of lower-income tax clients in 2014.

Making It Easier to Leave Your Car at Home

Published on 1 October 2013

There comes a time when most people stop driving. Some drivers are forced to give up the keys due to physical limitations, like limited vision, or slow response that puts themselves and others at risk. With increasing frequency, drivers of all ages choose not to drive due to cost, comfort, convenience and/or concern for the environment.

SHIBA Helps You Find Answers to Medicare and Health Care Coverage Questions

Published on 1 August 2013

Need help finding access to Medicare plans, health insurance, health care programs, or prescription drugs? Call or meet with a Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) counselor!

Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens Expands Access to Services

Published on 1 August 2013

he Seattle Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens now offers information on health insurance, estate planning, and other legal issues at their office, conveniently located on the 3rd Avenue busway in downtown Seattle. The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens is located in the Central Building, Suite 350, 810 3rd Avenue (between Columbia & Marion Streets).

"Fresh Bucks" Increases Access to Fresh Food

Published on 1 August 2013

The City of Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment, the Washington State Farmers Market Association, and Seattle's Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance are strengthening equal access to local and healthy foods with the Fresh Bucks program. The program will double the value of purchases—up to $10—made with SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards at select farmers markets through October 31, 2013.

Drawn-Out Legislative Session Ends on Positive Note

Published on 1 August 2013

The three legislative sessions of 2013 were exhausting for advocates and legislators alike, and one threatened to shut down state government if it lasted into July. But after 153 days, with two special sessions, a budget deal was finally reached on June 27th. The results for older adults and the disabled were … not bad at all.

Access to Technology for Vision Loss

Published on 1 May 2013

Disabling vision loss among seniors and baby boomers is a serious and growing issue due in large part to the aging of the population. With it, a growing number of individuals experience age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Indeed, some experts predict that the incidence of vision loss will double by 2030.

Community HealthCorps Makes a Difference for Low-Income Puget Sound Residents

Published on 29 March 2013

Sea Mar Community Health Centers strives to serve low-income, underserved, and uninsured people and communities with an emphasis on the Latino population.

We're All in This Together

Published on 4 March 2013

As our legislators and other elected leaders begin the process of creating an annual budget, scores of concerned citizens are ready to offer information and rationales to help guide their deliberations. 

Help Make King County Hunger Free

Published on 4 March 2013

It's no surprise that during a time of high unemployment and decreasing government funding, more and more people struggle to make ends meet, but did you know that one in six King County residents will struggle to put food on the table this year?

Spring into Retirement

Published on 4 March 2013

Here are a few important items about Social Security retirement benefits and how to apply for them.

Hoarding: A Complex Issue Needing Community Support

Published on 1 February 2013

As the Renton Housing Authority Resident Services Coordinator, I have worked with residents that struggle with hoarding disorder; however, I felt uninformed about this issue.

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.


Get Current and Stay Current on Your Utility Payments

Published on 2 January 2013

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to manage money more effectively, consider whether there are ways to save money on your utilities.

News Flash! Free Tax Prep Helps You Keep More of Your Hard-Earned Money

Published on 2 January 2013

In case you haven't heard, any household making $51,000 or less can have their taxes prepared for FREE from United Way of King County.

Financial Fitness Day Offers Free Money Management Help

Published on 2 January 2013

Year after year, three of the most popular New Year's resolutions remain the same—get a better job, manage debt, and save money. If you're motivated to work on these goals right now, you may wonder where you can turn for help. Fortunately, Financial Fitness Day is on the horizon.


Two ADS Funding Opportunities

Published on 2 January 2013

This month, Aging and Disability Services (ADS) will accept applications for funding in two service areas—Senior Nutrition and Kinship Navigator. 

Act Now on Medicare Part D

Published on 28 November 2012

If you currently enrolled in Medicare and are considering changes to your Medicare Part D plan, act now. The "open season" runs from October 15 to December 7.

Free Tax Prep Helps People Keep More of Their Hard-Earned Money

Published on 1 November 2012

With the help of hundreds of volunteers, United Way of King County will help hard-working, low-income people file their tax returns for free next year. 

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15—Review Your Plan!

Published on 1 October 2012

With more benefits, better choices and lower costs, the Social Security Administration is encouraging people with Medicare and their families to start reviewing drug and health plan coverage options for 2013.

Two Property Tax Benefit Programs for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities

Published on 30 August 2012

If you are age 61 or older—or have a disability—and your primary residence is in King County, you may be eligible to receive a property tax exemption or deferral through a program administered by the King County Department of Assessments. 

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. 

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.

Get Your Social Security Statement Online

Published on 1 August 2012

Do you remember receiving a Social Security statement in the mail? It provided valuable information regarding your Social Security benefits, including estimates of your future payments. Now you can get the Social Security statement online.

CDC Awards "Health Champion" Recognition to Farm to Table

Published on 31 May 2012

This spring, the Farm to Table partnership completed a 21 month grant funded project through Public Health—Seattle-King County's Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program, which helps connect senior meal and child care programs with local farms to purchase fresh affordable produce.

Two-thirds of Eligible Seniors Have Not Taken Advantage of Basic Food Benefits

Published on 31 May 2012

The USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a strong and effective program that helps people purchase the food they need.

Social Security: All About Disability

Published on 31 May 2012

Disability is something most people do not like to think about. But the chances that you will become disabled probably are greater than you realize. 

Vouchers Provide Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Low-Income Seniors

Published on 1 May 2012

Applications are now available for the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with $40 in voucher checks that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs throughout King County.

Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know

Published on 1 May 2012

Social Security plays a vital role in the lives of women. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. 

Forget Spring Cleaning: Scrub Your Budget Instead

Published on 2 April 2012

Spring is here! Time for spring cleaning? People everywhere are shedding the effects of winter. But what about dusting off your long-term financial plan?

Planning for Financial Fitness at Retirement

Published on 29 February 2012

Planning for retirement often feels like a guessing game.

Social Security Tax Tips for 2012

Published on 29 February 2012

Time goes by so quickly, it can be easy to forget important deadlines and even easier to let critical items fall behind on your to-do list.

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.

Earn (and Keep) More Money

Published on 2 March 2012

You probably already know that there was an increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) monthly payments at the beginning of the year. 

Fund Promotes Assistive Technology, Independence and Economic Opportunity

Published on 2 March 2012

Are you a 50- or 60-something and thinking about starting a small business or earning income from self- employment?  Do you need help paying for hearing aids? Are you experiencing vision loss and frustrated because you can no longer independently pay your bills, read your mail, or even write a "to do" list for your significant other?

Free Tax Prep Helps You Keep More of Your Hard Earned Money

Published on 28 December 2011

With the help of hundreds of volunteers every year, United Way of King County helps people file their tax returns and secure all of the refunds and credits for which they're eligible, including the Earned Income Tax Credit.