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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Introducing Community Living Connections

Published on 27 August 2015

Good news—Community Living Connections is now available throughout King County!

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.

I Am No Less Capable Than Before

Published on 30 June 2015

My impatient style set me up for that fall. A cane probably couldn't have prevented the trip but might have softened the fall and made it less likely that I would spend three hours in an emergency department getting an MRI and then spend time and money having to replace my glasses.

The ADA at 25: Continuing to Make Your Life Better

Published on 30 June 2015

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. It is a civil rights law.

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.

In Her Corner

Published on 30 June 2015

At 48 years old, Tracie is younger than most people imagine when they think of someone in a long-term care facility; however, people under age 64 represent about 37 percent of those needing long-term care.

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.

P-Patch Community Gardens are People's Gardens

Published on 29 April 2015

Throughout Seattle, gardeners use small plots of land to grow community, food, flowers, fruits and herbs.

The Green Way to Travel in Your Neighborhood

Published on 29 April 2015

Neighborhood greenways are safer, calmer residential streets for you, your family and neighbors. Neighborhood greenways provide people of all ages and abilities with attractive places to walk, roll, ride a bike, skate, and run.

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).

Where There's Hope, There's Life

Published on 31 March 2015

Many of us face health challenges, perhaps even life-altering events. A positive attitude combined with the skills and confidence to deal effectively with the hurdles, obstacles, and challenge we find thrown into our paths can make a big difference in our health status and outcome.

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.

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.

Standing Up to Senior Falls: Local Program Promotes Independence and Safety at Home

Published on 2 March 2015

Do you know someone over 65 who has fallen? Have you reached that age and are concerned about your risk? Senior falls are all too common, with results that are often serious and sometime even grave.

Assistive Technology Lab Empowers Older Adults with Low Vision

Published on 28 January 2015

Older adults with low vision have reconnected with their independence in a new assistive technology learning lab funded by the City of Seattle’s Technology Matching Fund.

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.

"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.

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.

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?

Seattle Council Chamber Upgrades Mean More People Can Participate

Published on 30 October 2014

The meeting space for the Seattle City Council has recently undergone a critical acoustical upgrade, providing enhanced audio service for members of the hearing loss community. The City Hall Council Chambers—which plays host to full Council and Council committee meetings as well as civic gatherings, events, and presentations such as the State of the City and the Mayor's budget unveiling—is a location meant to serve all Seattleites, and it is a priority of our Councilmembers to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in and hear Council proceedin

Common Concerns for Community Living: Housing, Transportation and Health Care

Published on 30 October 2014

In a recent effort to identify challenges and opportunities facing communities, Aging and Disability Services (ADS)—the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County—solicited input from individuals and organizations across King County. ADS connected with participants at senior centers, interviewed family caregivers, and conducted special outreach activities with cultural groups, including immigrant and refugee communities, and advocates for people with disabilities. Across geographic areas and populations, common themes emerged related to community living.

StopInfo for OneBusAway Helps Low Vision Bus Riders and Others

Published on 30 September 2014

There are many great reasons to use public transportation—convenience, cost, and concern for the environment are just a few; however, planning a bus trip to or from an unfamiliar place can present a number of challenges. Particularly for blind and low vision bus riders, finding a new bus stop can be difficult without prior information.

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.

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.

Smartphone Apps: Solutions in the Palm of Your Hand

Published on 2 September 2014

For many of us, when we go about doing things on a daily basis we utilize and rely upon the use of computer technologies for a variety of reasons: simply to meet our own personal needs or our work obligations. Mobile computing technologies have become the most conventional medium used for communications, information sharing, and instant connection via wireless Internet.

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.

Now More Than Ever

Published on 30 June 2014

Lord Derby (above) knew it more than 140 years ago: keep moving or grow ill. Countless research projects back up his statement. Among them, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko and associates (Successful Aging: The Role of Physical Activity, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine) found that regular physical activity not only positively affects overall health for older adults, it can increase life expectancy.


EnhanceFitness: Endurance, Balance, Flexibility, Strength and Healing

Published on 30 April 2014

Toshiko Aramaki has been teaching EnhanceFitness at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center since 2005. Many of her participants have attended regularly since she first started teaching there. Over the years, Toshiko has seen participants recover from sickness, broken bones, and major medical complications. They rest, they heal, and they return to class. Participants tell Toshiko that their doctors attribute quick recoveries to regular exercise.

Lunch In the Nursing Home

Rallying to Become a Dementia-friendly Community

Published on 30 April 2014

It is not uncommon for people with dementia to face significant barriers, from engaging in social activities to navigating a neighborhood, or even a conversation with their healthcare provider. Without support or understanding of their condition, many shrug their shoulders in frustration and give up out of fear or feelings of being misunderstood. Some will isolate, lacking confidence and feeling they have nothing to contribute. Others reach out but may be met with no response or a disregard of their offer.

Olympia Curbs Unauthorized Use of Disabled Parking Placards

Published on 31 March 2014

This year's state legislative session in Olympia included passage of an important bill that will help curb the rampant unauthorized use of disabled parking placards within Seattle. For years, people without disability have illegally used the placards to get free street parking, taking spaces away from those who need it most.

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.

Older Driver Safety Highlighted in December

Published on 2 December 2013

Among the many health awareness observances we support, National Older Driver Safety Awareness rises to the top in December. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) leads the charge on National Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which occurs December 2–6, 2013.

Too Many People with Hearing Loss Miss Out

Published on 30 October 2013

Hearing loss is an invisible disability that impacts daily communication for one in seven people. That number increases to one in three at age 65. Hearing aids have improved dramatically in the last decade, but they are still just that—aids. Those with hearing loss will hear better with hearing aids than without them, but they will still have trouble hearing in many situations.

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.

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.

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!

Nurse giving to senior woman physical therapy at home.

Reducing Disability in Clients with Alzheimer's Disease

Published on 29 August 2013

Earlier this year, Aging and Disability Services (ADS) began participating in "Reducing Disability in Alzheimer's Disease" (RDAD), a "translational study" conducted by the University of Washington School of Nursing. Our goal is to examine how exercise and other interventions help clients with Alzheimer's—and other forms of dementia—reduce disability.

STG - Dance for Parkinsons

Lifting Mind, Body and Spirit through Dance for Parkinson's

Published on 28 June 2013

Former lawyers, artists, pilots, homemakers—these are the people who participate in Seattle's Dance for PD® classes. Dance classes developed and taught by professional dancers and designed for people whose lives have been abruptly interrupted by the neurodegenerative brain disorder known as Parkinson's disease (PD)—a disease that includes symptoms of tremors, slowness of movement, rigidity, imbalance and impaired coordination.

Cataracts: The Leading Cause of Vision Loss

Published on 28 June 2013

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens and is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. In the U.S., it is the leading cause of vision loss.

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.

Insight: A Low Vision Expo 2013

Published on 1 May 2013

Did you know that Impressionist Claude Monet struggled with cataracts in his later years? As inspiring as his bright paintings, Monet's story of low vision rehabilitation will be featured at SightConnection's fourth annual Insight: A Low Vision Expo, which takes place on Saturday, June 8, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lynnwood Convention Center (3711 196th St SW, Lynnwood).

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.

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?

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.

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.

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 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.

Hyde Shuttle Service Begins in Federal Way, SeaTac and Tukwila

Published on 29 June 2012

Free community Hyde Shuttle service for residents age 55 and older and for people with disabilities of all ages is now available in Federal Way, SeaTac and Tukwila.

Health Care Reform a High AAA Priority

Published on 31 May 2012

Area Agencies on Aging ("triple As," as they're sometimes called) have long contributed to health care efficiencies and effectiveness.

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. 

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.

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."

Senior Lobby Day: Budget Looking Better For Now

Published on 29 February 2012

On February 23, six Aging and Disability Services (ADS) Advisory Council members travelled to Olympia to participate in the Washington Senior Citizens Foundation’s annual Senior Lobby Day.

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.

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?

Wanted: Eastside Transportation Advocates

Published on 28 December 2011

Residents of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, Sammamish, and Snoqualmie Valley—and nearby towns—are invited to change the face of transportation for older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-income residents on the Eastside.