Only a few years ago, people would jokingly ask, “Is there an app for that?” These days, you can bet there is not only one app but multiple apps for just about anything you can imagine.
“App” is simply an abbreviation for “application.” The term may refer to a web-based program or to software that can be downloaded to a smartphone, tablet, or other electronic device. Some apps are free, or have basic versions that are free. Some apps appear to be free but may require “in-app” purchases. The Federal Trade Commission offers good information here.
You may be asking, “Why should I care?” Much of the information we depend on for ourselves and our families is gained online. Take health information, for instance. While your Internet search is no match for your doctor’s medical degree, you can find valuable information to support health care decisions. Apps are portals to information. Choose your apps carefully and you can access valuable information more quickly.
It’s up to you whether you want to download a special app to your smartphone or other device that will make this information even easier to access. Most downloadable apps are distributed by Google Play, The App Store, or the Microsoft Store. Your source depends on what kind of smartphone or other device you use. If in doubt, inquire from the store where you purchased it.
Apps for Advocacy
An AgeWise article in December 2017, “10 Tasks for Effective Legislative Advocacy” has circulated among Aging Network advocates. Last fall, those of us who attended the annual statewide meeting of Area Agency on Aging advisory councils and the State Council on Aging had the opportunity to learn about using Twitter for advocacy in a workshop called “Tweets Can Be Your Friend,” We learned that Twitter is used extensively for networking and for legislative advocacy. Most legislators have a Twitter account, which you can find on their legislative homepage. All it takes to open a Twitter account is an e-mail address and a password of your choosing. Find your legislators here and follow them.
Aging King County Social Media
Aging and Disability Services—ADS, the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County—posts helpful information on several apps that are free and usually web-based, meaning you don’t have to download anything special in order to access the information. ADS will never ask for money in order to give you information and, generally, you will be able to access their social media posts without joining a group.
For instance, visit www.facebook.com/agingkingcounty and you can see what is posted there. In order to interact with the information (e.g., share it or comment), you need to sign up for Facebook. The same is true of Twitter (@AgingKingCounty) and Pinterest (@AgingKingCounty).
Earlier this year, ADS added LinkedIn to its social media lineup. LinkedIn is a respected professional network. I recommend the page to anyone working in the health care and human services field.
Age Friendly Seattle Coffee Hour vlogs
Age Friendly Seattle has its own social media brand (@agefriendlySeattle or @agefriendlySEA), including Facebook and Twitter. A recent Age Friendly Seattle innovation is a series of vlogs (video blog or video log) about their monthly coffee hours. The vlogs are hosted on the brand new Aging King County YouTube Channel. Watch a cute teaser about the coffee hours here. An 11-minute recap of the January coffee hour featuring Seattle Human Services Department director Jason Johnson is available here. These are worthwhile for anyone who cannot come to the events and for people who have thought about it but don’t know what to expect.
Confused? Sometimes it’s easiest to just jump in and use an app that interests you. If you need help getting started, several local senior centers offer classes and/or coaching. You can take Lynda.com online social media trainings for FREE if you access their site through either Seattle Public Library or King County Library System, using your library card barcode number and PIN. Ask about Lynda.com at your nearest library—librarians can show you how to get there.
What’s happening @AgingKingCounty? Lots! I hope you’ll take time to check out the wealth of information that’s available online.
Contributor Ava Frisinger chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. She welcomes input from readers via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as applicants for open positions on the council. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council.
Mark Your Calendars
Following are some of the events that Advisory Council members will participate in this month and next:
- Friday, April 12 (12–2 p.m.): ADS Advisory Council, Seattle Municipal Tower 4050/4060
- Friday, April 19 (2 p.m.): Mayor’s Council on African American Elders, Seattle Municipal Tower 4090
- Thursday, April 25 (10–11 a.m.): Age Friendly Seattle Coffee Hour with Ingrid Ulrey, Public Health—Seattle & King County, Central Building (710 3rd Avenue)
For more local Aging Network events, click here.
May is Older Americans Month
During Older Americans Month (May), we honor and celebrate older people throughout our community and our nation. Visit our Older Americans Month page to learn about this year’s theme and get links to resources you can use to promote events in May. Got events? Use the online contact form to send the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” to our webmaster for consideration on the Older Americans Month calendar.