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.

Creating Age- and Disability-Friendly Communities

Published on 29 October 2015

Good news! Aging and Disability Services filed its final draft Area Plan for 2016-2019 for Seattle-King County with the State Unit on Aging, part of the DSHS Aging and Long-Term Support Administration, on Oct. 5, 2015. State approval is expected in early 2016.

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.

LGBTQ Older Adults Face Higher Health Risks

Published on 29 October 2015

The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) older adults in Seattle and King County is expected to double by 2030, and they face higher risks of disability, poor health, mental distress and isolation—along with a social service sector unequipped to deal with their needs.

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. 

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.

Fall Lineup!

Published on 1 October 2015

What does "fall lineup" mean to you? A new TV schedule? A Seahawks tailgate party, perhaps? For Aging Network advocates, it's all that and more!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Area Plan on Aging: We Want to Hear From You!

Published on 30 July 2015

The Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services (ADS) will host public hearings regarding the draft 2016–2019 Area Plan on Aging, and draft recommendations for the 2016 discretionary budget allocations.

Are You Eligible for Property Tax Relief?

Published on 30 July 2015

The Washington State Legislature recently passed Substitute Senate Bill 5186 that increased the qualifying income from $35,000 annual gross income to $40,000 for the senior/disability property tax exemption effective October 2015.

Online Services Can Help Keep You Safe in an Emergency

Published on 30 July 2015

Two online services can help residents of Seattle and King County in emergencies. Smart911 enhances the ability of emergency responders to reach and serve people who call 9-1-1. AlertSeattle provides emergency alerts to Seattle residents. Seattle residents who sign up for Smart911 will be prompted to also sign up for AlertSeattle; however, registration for either program is available separately.

How to Plan an Accessible Public Meeting

Published on 30 June 2015

This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, an important piece of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities.

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.

How to Avoid Distracted Driving

Published on 29 April 2015

Even though it may feel like second nature, driving is a demanding task that requires your full attention, no matter how experienced you may consider yourself.

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).

You Take Care of Mom, But Who Will Take Care of You?

Published on 31 March 2015

Family caregivers provide the majority of long-term services and supports; however, the supply of family caregivers is not likely to keep the pace with the future demand.

Knowledge about Kidney Disease Helps Protect Older Adults

Published on 2 March 2015

High blood pressure, obesity, diabetes—and being over age 60—are among the biggest risk factors for chronic kidney disease, a term that means gradual loss of kidney function. It’s a health problem that affects one in seven American adults.

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.

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.

Take Our Survey: Area Plan on Aging, 2016–2019

Published on 5 January 2015

Aging & Disability Services—the Area Agency on Aging for King County—is part of the Aging Network that was established in 1965 with the passage of the Older Americans Act.

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.

Holidays—What a Trip!

Published on 2 December 2014

Trips, tumbles and falls—they happen every day. In Washington state, falls result in over 12,000 hospitalizations each year. That's why Aging and Disability Services—the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County—and other Aging Network organizations emphasize falls prevention throughout the year. Falls safety precautions include exercise for balance and strength, medication review, vision exam, and removal of trip hazards.

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.)

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.

Aging: How Fascinating!

Published on 2 September 2014

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

The Challenge of Cooking for One

Published on 2 September 2014

If you live alone it can be hard to get excited about cooking. Here are some ways to motivate yourself to cook healthy, or at all, when you are making a meal for just one.

We'd Love to Hear from You

Published on 2 September 2014

Finding help when you need it can be a daunting task. Navigating the maze of community and government programs is much easier when you have a helping hand to guide you. Information & Assistance (I&A) programs provide this helping hand, making it easier for older adults and their families to access resources that meet their needs.

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.

Lung Cancer in Women: The Facts, New Screening Guidelines, and How You Can Help Change the Lung Cancer Landscape

Published on 30 June 2014

We recognize the pink ribbon for breast cancer and the red dress for women's heart health. Yet lung cancer, as the leading cancer killer among men and women, takes the lives of more than 150,000 people each year—more than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined—and in 1987 surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

Simple Pleasures: How a Dialysis Patient Runs Her Life

Published on 2 June 2014

Ruth Woolford loves being at home. For her, the simple phrase "being at home" holds a deeper, special meaning. Ruth is a kidney patient who performs dialysis treatments herself, at home. This means that despite having a life-threatening chronic illness, she is not tied to the schedule in a dialysis center, which would mean four-hour appointments three days every week.

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).

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.

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? 

Organized for the New Year

Published on 31 December 2013

Two things always happen in January. Health club memberships jump by 30 percent, and stores sell storage containers in scores. That’s because January is a time to make plans and start projects.

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." 

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.

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.

Counter or Fridge? How to Keep your Produce Fresh

Published on 1 October 2013

Americans throw away an average of about $400 worth of spoiled produce a year. Following a few tips will ensure more fruits and vegetables go into you and your family than into the yard waste container. What a great way to save you money and improve your family’s health.

Too Good to Waste

Published on 1 October 2013

Did you know that Thursday, October 24 is Food Day? Every day is food day, of course, but this annual event, supported by a coalition of national and regional food-movement groups, is what they describe as "a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food."

Duct Tape and Maxi Pads to the Rescue

Published on 29 August 2013

Resourcefulness rules the day! We've all heard the adage, "Necessity is the mother of invention." That was certainly true in this case! You never know how simple, everyday items can be used when you’re in a pinch—or in a disaster.

When You're Prepared, Everyone Prospers!

Published on 29 August 2013

Even though we are reminded to be ready for power outages, hot weather, winter storms, and more by news media, flyers, and emergency management messages, many of us do not want to think about disasters. I think that "preparing to prosper" is a concept that we can all embrace.

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).

Male Health: Your Car Gets Regular Tune Ups, Shouldn't You?

Published on 31 May 2013

Most men are very good providers when it comes to support of family and work. Unfortunately, men fall short when providing for themselves, at least with respect to their own health.

Healthy Eating for Healthy Aging

Published on 4 March 2013

Planning, preparing, and eating healthy meals can be challenging for many older adults. Some may not be motivated to prepare meals for just one or two people. For others, poor health may limit the ability to shop and prepare meals.

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. 

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.

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.

Aging in King County: The Path Ahead

Published on 2 January 2013

It is my honor to serve as chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disabilities in 2013.

EcoConsumer: Deck the Halls Green

Published on 28 November 2012

"Going green" for the holidays is always in style. It helps preserve the planet for ourselves and future generations, but it can also save money and reduce stress. 

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.

King County Launches Regional Smart911 Service

Published on 1 October 2012

In an emergency, seconds count. Making sure 9-1-1 call-takers and emergency responders have all the information they need can mean the difference between life and death.

Make Sure Your Home Can Change As You Do

Published on 30 August 2012

Home sweet home! No one expects a simple turn of events or our changing lives to suddenly make our home sweet home become a barrier to our comfort and peace of mind. Unfortunately that is typically what can happen if we are not aware of the possibility of change and if we're not prepared to deal with it. 

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. 

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. 

Disaster Ready...What Does That Mean?

Published on 29 June 2012

If a disaster such as an earthquake were to happen tomorrow, would you be ready to take care of yourself and those around you till help can arrive and City services can be restored?

Who Can You Count On in an Emergency? Who Can Count on You?

Published on 29 June 2012

Can you count on your Facebook friends in an emergency? Perhaps so, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in announcing the winners of their Facebook Lifeline Application Challenge last spring. 

August 2 Forum to Focus on African American Elder Issues

Published on 29 June 2012

The Mayor's Council on African American Elders (MCAAE) is committed to advocacy, education, and promotion of issues most important to African American elders.

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.

Universal Design Goes Beyond the Home

Published on 29 February 2012

Have you ever watched a captioned television at an airport? Were you thankful for the curb cut when pushing your baby stroller up a sidewalk? Did you appreciate the automatic door opener at the grocery store? These are all examples of "universal design."

"Planning for Long-Term Care" Wordfind

Published on 29 February 2012

"Planning for Long-Term Care" Wordfind

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.