As part of the regional Age-Friendly Discussion Groups initiated this spring by AARP Washington, King County Library System, and Aging and Disability Services, Age Friendly Seattle launched a series of eight call-in/log-on discussion groups.
“We call the series ‘Kitchen Table Talks’ because the kitchen table is a symbol of where important conversations take place,” said Cathy Knight, director of Aging and Disability Services, which staffs Age Friendly Seattle. Aging and Disability Services is a division of the Seattle Human Services Department and is designated as the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle and King County.
“Anyone can call in from the comfort of their kitchen, living room, or office. Plus, we hope this series will springboard more talk about aging issues around kitchen tables, with family and friends, in the future,” Knight said.
Age Friendly Seattle is an initiative launched by the City of Seattle in early 2017. To date, more than 1,500 people have offered input on an action plan that will guide city departments and the community in becoming more age-friendly over the next four years.
The City of Seattle is a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, which is affiliated with the World Health Organization (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program. As of May 18, 2018, the AARP Network had 244 members, mostly municipalities.
“Across the country and right here at home, we’re looking at ways to bolster community mobility, housing options, and access to services and amenities that increase livability,” said Knight. “A livable community is one where people of all ages and abilities can live with ease.”
The WHO’s 8 Domains of Livability provides a framework for age-friendly communities as well as an outline for the Kitchen Table Talks series, scheduled on the third Tuesday of most months (1–2 p.m.) through the end of the calendar year. September is an exception—that Kitchen Table Talk is scheduled on Thursday, September 20. The May 2018 topic was Housing. The June 2018 topic is Communication and Information. A related article and suggested discussion group questions are published in Northwest Prime Time.
Five additional domains will be covered in Prime Time later this year: Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Community and Health Services, and Transportation. Age Friendly Seattle will include an additional domain of livability—Outdoor Spaces and Buildings—during the summer.
Kitchen Table Talks: How to Comment or Ask a Question
Kitchen Tables Talks may involve a small group or as many as 250 people who call or log in to the conversation. Following are participants’ options for commenting, or requesting an opportunity to speak, if presenters have muted audience phones and microphones.
- E‐mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Text: 206-200-6801
- Facebook: Visit @agefriendlySeattle and look for the Event page. Join the event and post in the Discussion panel.
- Twitter: Tweet @agefriendlySEA #kitchentabletalk
- Online: Type in the “IM” window at the lower left corner of your screen.
- Voice: Depending on the number of participants, it may be difficult to be recognized. Please wait for a pause in the discussion, and please be patient.