Last month, the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services met in person for the first time since February 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we didn’t miss a beat—we met every month in a virtual meeting. Even so, it felt great to see Advisory Council members and Aging and Disability Services staff in person at a four-hour retreat. We enjoyed camaraderie and spent the day talking about opportunities to advocate for and promote the Area Agency on Aging.
Some of the issues we discussed at the retreat include:
- Isolation and loneliness (health impacts)
- Medicaid protection
- Medicare privatization
- Mental health services
- Nutrition funding
- Rent control
- Tax relief options
- Transportation options
- Vision, mission, and values
In the months to come, we expect to publish information about many of these issues. Also, we know many will be addressed in the Area Agency on Aging’s Area Plan for 2024–2027 (now in development). The Area Plan is the agency’s “roadmap” for aging network services throughout Seattle and King County. We are pleased to have participated in multiple planning sessions using a racial equity lens.
The Advisory Council has a strong advocacy role—we represent the people who are served by the Area Agency on Aging, leading with race and embracing the philosophy that people of color should not experience disparities.
We continue to recruit new Advisory Council members. Currently, we are focused on identifying new members from rural King County, as our membership must reflect the geographic distribution of older adults in King County. We also need to represent King County’s diverse population in terms of race, gender, age, ethnicity, ability, and socio-economic status. We’d like to see more men join the Advisory Council, and we need broader disability representation.
If you or someone you know are interested in an appointment to the ADS Advisory Council, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council/#join.
Gratitude—Marigrace and Sariga
Many thanks to Marigrace Becker, who directs The Memory Hub—“A Place for Dementia-Friendly Community, Collaboration and Impact,” for hosting our May 12 retreat. The Memory Hub is a bit like a senior activity center—there are rooms for large and small gatherings, a variety of services available on-site, and much more. The building is light and airy, and Maude’s Garden was a wonderful place to congregate outdoors for lunch.
The Memory Hub is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. If you know anyone in the community who lives with memory loss or who is a family caregiver for someone living with memory loss, please let them know about The Memory Hub. It’s located at 1021 Columbia Street in Seattle, right around the corner from the entrance to The Frye Museum—a perfect location considering the museum’s Creative Aging and here:now programming designed for adults living with dementia and their care partners.
I also want to thank Sariga Santhosh for coordinating the retreat and for everything she has done for the ADS Advisory Council over the past four-and-a-half years as our staff liaison. Sariga has accepted a new position with the Seattle Department of Transportation, where she will focus on transportation equity. She certainly helped guide our Advisory Council in conversations about racial equity and social justice in aging, and I know she will do well in this new role—both internally and working with community members.
Sariga’s position with Aging and Disability Services will be filled in the coming months. When ready, a link to the position description will be posted on www.agingkingcounty.org/job-openings/.
Contributor Joe Hailey chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mark Your Calendars
Following are upcoming events in which ADS Advisory Council members will participate:
- Seattle City Council Proclamation: Monday and Tuesday, June 5–6. The Council anticipates introducing and then approving a proclamation for Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Seattle (see June 15, below). Watch Council action live here.
- NW Universal Design Council: Tuesday, June 13 (3–4 p.m.); online. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Dinah.Stephens@seattle.gov in advance.
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, June 9 (12–2 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Maria.Langlais@seattle.gov.
- Age Friendly Civic Coffee: Thursday, June 28 (1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.). This month’s focus is Gardening and Nutrition. Join in person at Greenwood Senior Center or online. For more information about the Civic Coffee and other events, visit our Virtual Events webpage or Facebook. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
- World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Thursday, June 15. Communities around the world plan elder abuse awareness events and activities on or near this day.
- Mayor’s Council on African American Elders: Friday, June 16 (2:00–3:30 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Karen.Winston@seattle.gov.
- Juneteenth: Monday, June 19, is a national holiday. ADS and other government offices are closed in remembrance and celebration of freedom.
- 49th Annual Pride Parade: Sunday, June 25 (11 a.m.–3 p.m.) on 4th Avenue, between Westlake Park and Seattle Center.
- PrideFest Seattle Center: Saturday, June 24–Sunday, June 25 (12–8 p.m.), immediately following the downtown Pride Parade. at Seattle Center.