Eight Success Stories in 2015

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December marks the end of my term as chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. Our mission has been to identify the needs of older people and adults with disabilities in our community; advise on services to meet these needs; and advocate for local, state and national programs that promote quality of life for these populations.

As I have reflected on 2015, I have made a list of some of the accomplishments for members of our Advisory Council and other aging services network advocates:

  1. ADS Advisory Council members traveled to Olympia on Senior Lobby Day on February 26 to advocate our 2015 Legislative Priorities.
  2. Advocacy for an increase in Medicaid Case Management program reimbursement resulted in about a nine percent increase, which meant Aging and Disability Services could continue operation of the program here in King County. More
  3. Meetings with elected officials—members of Congress, State legislators, and city and county councilmembers—have strengthened our regional focus on aging services. We visited 10 state legislators and two congressional representatives during the off-season. We also participated in the November 20 AgeWave briefing for Seattle City Council members. Click here for photos.
  4. The Advisory Council was involved in development of the draft Area Plan for 2016–2019, which was submitted to the State Unit on Aging on October 5, 2015.
  5. The Advisory Council held five community forums in 2015, on topics of interest to our aging population, including End-of-Life Planning; Housing Challenges in Later Life; Debunking the Myths of Mental Illness; Living Longer and Stronger in Sno-Valley; and Aging in Place in Your Community.
  6. Advisory Council members and other leaders in the Aging Network participated in creation of Our Elders, Our Selves: Visiting the Past, Planning for Our Future, a documentary about the evolution of aging programs and services in Seattle-King County, which was shown on The Seattle Channel.
  7. The Northwest Universal Design Council—with Advisory Council representation—held four forums in 2015: The Beauty of Universal Design; Should I Stay or Should I Go? Deciding how and where to live in your last decades; Universal Design: Best practices, challenges & compromises; and a presentation on the U.S. Access Board.
  8. AgeWise King County—our monthly e-zine—has continued to draw readers. Subscriptions topped 2,000 this year. Please encourage your family and friends to subscribe. It's free—just click the button at the top of this page.

As you can see, the Advisory Council plays a significant role in guiding Aging and Disability Services as it administers services for older people in King County, and in educating everyone from residents to lawmakers on aging issues. It has been my pleasure to serve on the Advisory Council and to chair it this year. I would encourage anyone who cares about successful aging and services that make life better for individuals with disabilities to join.

Happy holidays and a joyous new year to all. Keep moving and stay connected!

Contributor Ava Frisinger chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. Ava welcomes input from readers via e-mail (advisorychair@agewisekingcounty.org) as well as applicants for open positions on the council, when they occur. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.

At the November 13, 2015 meeting of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, a new slate of officers was elected. The 2016 Executive Committee comprises:

•    Molly Holmes, Chair
•    Hon. David Baker, Vice-Chair
•    Sue Shaw, Secretary
•    Marsha Andrews, Member-At-Large

The Advisory Council meets monthly. Much of the work is conducted in committees. In January, the Advisory Council holds a retreat. Our next regular meeting is on Friday, February 12, 2016.

If you are interested in joining the Advisory Council, visit our How to Join webpage or contact Aging and Disability Services planner Gigi Meinig at 206-684-0652 or gigi.meinig@seattle.gov.