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.

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.

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.

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.

Improving Mobility for People with Limited Options

Published on 29 October 2015

From the new I-405 Express Toll Lanes, to University Link Light Rail, to major construction projects on State Route 99 and State Route 520, you’ve probably noticed some changes to King County’s transportation system lately. With so many changes, transportation can be a difficult challenge for anyone to navigate.

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.

Until There is a Cure, Alzheimer's Disease will Touch Us All

Published on 1 October 2015

Since early 2014, an Alzheimer's Disease Working Group has examined the needs of individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, services available to meet these needs, and the capacity of the state and current providers to meet these and future needs.

Learn for Life

Published on 27 August 2015

As Albert Einstein said, "Once you stop learning, you start dying."

Mind Matters at King County Libraries

Published on 27 August 2015

As executive director of the Seattle-based Northwest Center for Creative Aging and retired Boeing Company executive, Crichton is focusing on one of the deeper mysteries: The human mind.

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?

NeighborTies: Strengthening Elders in Our Community

Published on 30 July 2015

The Southeast Seattle Senior Center has launched a new volunteer program called NeighborTies, which will match an elder living in Southeast Seattle with a trained volunteer who will come to their home at least twice a month.

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.

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.

Brain Health: Minimize the Risk Factors, Maximize the Protections

Published on 1 June 2015

I have to admit, I love to read and learn new things. Growing up, family members called me a "bookworm," because I was always checking out books from the library. As I grew older, my thirst for reading continued and I even started to write poetry.

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.

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.

Senior Centers Provide a Bevy of Art Opportunities

Published on 5 January 2015

As outlined in the April 2012 issue of AgeWise King County, studies have shown that participation in and access to the arts offer great benefits for older adults. From improving cognitive abilities to combating isolation, the arts play a vital role in healthy aging.

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.

VetsGO Offers "Beyond-the-Bus" Transportation Options

Published on 5 January 2015

Over the last two months, I attended two veteran events in King County: the Auburn Veterans Day Parade and the Seattle Stand Down. Both were events that brought it all home and reminded me not only why I do what I do for a career, but also how important it is that the recognition, honoring, and support we give our veterans goes beyond November 11th every year.

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.

King County Veterans and Human Services Levy Makes a Difference

Published on 30 October 2014

In November 2005 and again in 2011, King County voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that established the Veterans and Human Services Levy.

Bald eagle with American flag, focus on head (clipping path)

Veterans Benefits and Support Services Can Change Your Life

Published on 30 October 2014

Every November 11th we celebrate Veterans Day in the United States. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day.

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?

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.

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.

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!

Activation as Treatment for Depression

Published on 27 February 2014

Humans have been plagued by depression from the beginning time. Over the centuries, depression has been called "melancholia," "black bile," and "a morose outlook on life." Depression wasn't recognized as a diagnosable affliction until the late 19th century.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

One for the Money, Two for the Show...

Published on 29 August 2013

Carl Perkins' song, Blue Suede Shoes, comes to mind when I think of September's emphasis on falls prevention and emergency preparedness. It's not because of money, racing, or shoes. It's this: It's time to get ready—and there’s so much to do!

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.

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.

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.

The Positive Impact of Pets…and So Much More

Published on 1 November 2012

Aren't pets wonderful? The November 2012 issue of AgeWise is about pets—those furry, fuzzy, and often funny household creatures many of us keep for companionship and enjoyment. 

Do Seniors Benefit from Having Pets?

Published on 1 November 2012

A growing body of research is revealing the psychological and physiological benefits that pet ownership confers on seniors in particular. 

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.

Pet Partners Therapy Animals Bring Joy and Healing to Millions

Published on 1 November 2012

Did you know that King County—specifically Bellevue—is the home of an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving human health and enriching lives through positive connections with therapy, service and companion animals?

Golden Pets for Your Golden Years…for Free!

Published on 1 November 2012

Thinking about adopting a pet but don't know where to start?

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.

Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives Helps Kent Veteran Succeed at Problem-Solving

Published on 1 November 2012

In 2007, U.S. Navy veteran Cliff Davis owned a specialty roofing business. He accidentally fell three stories from a roof and shattered both legs and both knees. He subsequently experienced additional health problems and found himself down and discouraged.

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.

Exercise Your Mind at Washington Community and Technical Colleges

Published on 1 October 2012

We live in the knowledge age, a time of breaking news, fascinating discoveries, and whirlwind changes in technology. Learning sharpens minds and boosts spirits. It keeps people engaged … and engaging.

Free In-Home Counseling for Older King County Veterans and Spouses

Published on 30 August 2012

PEARLS helps veterans learn problem-solving skills and become more physically and socially active. Participants experience eight in-home counseling sessions over a period of five months, followed by three monthly follow-up phone calls.

Helping Others and Asking for Help When You Need It

Published on 29 June 2012

Everyone can do something for someone else and, in doing so, do something good for themselves.

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.

Sliding to Better Health at the "The Central"

Published on 1 May 2012

What started out as a Sit and Be Fit exercise class almost 20 years ago has evolved into a sliders group that meets twice a week...and occasionally takes the show on the road.

Creativity & Dementia

Published on 2 April 2012

For 25 years, Suzanne Visser worked as an oncology research nurse, caring for individuals battling cancer and helping medical science find answers in the process.

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.

"Have Fun and Benefit Your Brain" Wordfind

Published on 2 April 2012

"Have Fun and Benefit Your Brain" Wordfind

Maintaining a Healthy Brain

Published on 29 February 2012

When we think about staying fit, we generally think about going to the gym and exercising. Seldom do we include keeping our brain active as part of staying fit.

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.

Encore Web Portal Promotes Walking...and Much More

Published on 28 December 2011

For those whose New Year's resolution includes more physical activity, www.seattle.gov/walking is your ticket to walk!