AAAs a Best Kept Secret? No More!
If you spend much time with Area Agency on Aging (AAA) leadership, you're likely to hear someone say, "Triple A's are a best kept secret!" Tens of thousands take advantage of valuable AAA services—just in our area—but may not recognize that the source of their support is the Aging Network administered by Aging and Disability Services—the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County. Best kept secret? No! It's best to tell people who need to know.
Among people who need to know are local, state and federal lawmakers. Currently, the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services is focused on letting members of the Washington State Legislature in on the secret. We need to help them understand how critically important the following Area Agency on Aging services are to the residents of their districts:
- Restore lost case management capacity. Area Agencies on Aging need the State to invest an additional $28 million ($14 million state dollars and $14 million federal) in Medicaid case management for the biennium in order to save money on more expensive nursing home care. More Information.
- Expand successful programs for family caregivers. Area Agencies on Aging need the State to expand the Family Caregiver Support Program to help more family caregivers avoid financial and emotional exhaustion and save money by avoiding more expensive forms of care. More Information.
- Protect funding for the Senior Citizens Services Act (SCSA). Area Agencies on Aging need the flexibility of locally-controlled SCSA dollars to ensure that older adults get access to meals, transportation, and other supports they need to stay safe and healthy in their communities. More Information.
- Promote a more secure economic future for all Washington residents. Area Agencies on Aging need the State to invest in a study to model and compare alternative options to help people save for their long-term support needs (HB 1286 and SB 5258).
- Protect vulnerable adults: Area Agencies on Aging need the State to increase funding to support the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Office of Public Guardianship, to ensure that sufficient investigative staff are available to improve support for survivors of elder abuse and increase penalties for financial exploitation.
If you agree with any or all of these points, please contact your state legislators. If you don't know who they are, visit Find Your Legislator. But here's another secret—also best shared: If you call the toll-free Legislative Hotline, you don't even need to know your legislators' names. The hotline operators will direct your message—those listed above or a new message you develop—to those who represent you. Memorize this number: 1-800-562-6000.
If you prefer e-mail, click here for a contact list for all members of the Washington State Legislature.
Everyone knows that older people are the most likely to vote. Are we also the most likely people to contact our state lawmakers? Let's find out. Please call or e-mail your legislators today.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as applicants for open positions on the council, when they occur. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.