Aging in King County: The Path Ahead

2013 Advisory Council chair Tony Provine and Advocacy Committee member Molly Holmes participated in Senior Lobby Day in Olympia last year.

It is my honor to serve as chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disabilities in 2013. I am especially proud to be associated with one of the finest area agencies on aging (AAAs) in the nation. Seattle and King County’s AAA, Aging and Disabilities Services (ADS), is a leader in creating a complete and responsive system of services for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

As we begin this year, there is much that we still do not know about future funding and Aging Network services in King County and elsewhere. Changes in health care delivery, including Medicare and Medicaid, and budgetary pressures at all levels of government may impact programs that affect a growing aging population. In these challenging times, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the services necessary to protect those most vulnerable and to enhance quality of life for all. More than ever, it will take the concerted efforts of a determined coalition to advocate for the continuation of these services.

In 2012, the Advisory Council sponsored two forums—the Silver Tsunami candidates forum on Mercer Island and Transportation: The Road to Independence in Bellevue. During this year of changes, the Advisory Council will hold more meetings and events in different areas of King County. Our goals are to provide information on timely subjects and to gather information to help us better identify the needs of individuals in the community.

We want to create more opportunities to engage in dialogue and to link people with the network of service providers. And we hope to get more people involved in speaking up for older adults and joining with others to strengthen their communities. I look forward to meeting and hearing from you, and I invite you to participate in the programs that our dedicated staff and volunteers make possible.

Please take a moment to read and bookmark the Advisory Council webpage, and watch our calendars—in this publication and on the website—for information about upcoming opportunities for participation. Among these, you'll see that Senior Lobby Day in Olympia is on Thursday, February 21, 2013. This is one of your easiest opportunities to visit with state legislators and let them know your priorities.

For more information about issues our state legislature will consider in 2013, see the Washington State Senior Lobby issues and legislation webpages. The Advisory Council's Advocacy Committee meets monthly to monitor issues and plan effective communications with legislators and other policymakers. Please join us!

—Tony Provine, Advisory Council Chair, Aging and Disability Services