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Age Wave Forums Present Both an Opportunity and a Challenge

Huntington Beach, CA, USA February 16, 2009 A senior male enjoys catching a wave along the shores of Huntington Beach, California

The “Age Wave” is a term many use to describe the growing number of older adults in our country. Between the baby boom that occurred following World War II, increased life expectancy due to better health, and lower fertility rates (fewer children), age demographics have shifted dramatically and will continue to shift for some time. This shift changes demands on public resources and puts pressure on state-funded services and infrastructure. How federal and state elected officials respond to the wave can make a world a difference to quality of life—not just for older adults but their families and communities.

The Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services has teamed up with AARP Washington to sponsor two Age Wave Forums this month. State legislative candidates in 10 districts in south and east King County have been invited to participate.

“We see these forums as both an opportunity and a challenge,” said Advisory Council chair Ava Frisinger. “We’re providing a way for candidates to study issues that are important to older residents, learn, and articulate those issues effectively. We publish our legislative priorities each year, collaborate with an extensive Age Wave Coalition, and serve as a resource. We are always happy to sit down with elected officials to talk about how their constituents are affected.”

The Advisory Council’s 2018 legislative priorities are available online. The Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby, a forum co-sponsor, provides legislative priorities and extensive issue updates.

In addition to AARP Washington and Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby, co-sponsors of both forums include the Alzheimer’s Association—Washington State Chapter, Disability Rights Washington, Resident Councils of Washington, SEIU Healthcare 775NW, Sound Generations, Washington Adult Family Home Council, Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Washington Home Care Coalition, Washington State Chapter of Senior Centers, Washington State Council on Aging, Washington State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Washington State School Retirees’ Association, SHAG, and Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action (PSARA). Many publish their legislative priorities online.

South King County 9/14/18
Candidates for seats in the 11th, 30th, 33rd, 34th, 37th, and 47th legislative districts have been invited to participate in a forum on Friday, September 14, from 1–3 p.m. at The Sullivan Center at Tukwila Village (14350 Tukwila International Blvd, Tukwila, WA). Additional co-sponsors on the south county event include City of Tukwila, Foster High School, and Kona Kai Coffee Company. Flyer | RSVP

East King County 9/28/18
Candidates for seats in the 5th, 41st, 45th, and 48th legislative districts have been invited to participate in a forum on Friday, September 28, from 2:30–4:30 p.m. at North Bellevue Community Center (4063 148th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA). Additional co-sponsors of the east county event include Bellevue Network on Aging, Kirkland Senior Council, North Bellevue Community Center, City of Kirkland, and City of Bellevue. Flyer | RSVP

For transit information to either location, call 206-553-3000 or visit

Everyone is encouraged to participate. For disability accommodations or accessibility information, contact Lori Sanford ( or 206-684-7581).

Come to either Age Wave forum to hear about key issues and implications for our aging demographic. Most important of all—vote!

Contributor Irene Stewart manages communications for Aging and Disability Services—the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County—a division of the Seattle Human Services Department. She has never missed an election.