Let’s Hear It for Aging Readiness
Aging Readiness is the theme of the 2023 Age Wave legislative agenda, published recently by AARP Washington on behalf of a coalition of organizations engaged in advocating for a more equitable aging system in Washington state. Its priorities are easy to remember—Better Health, Livable Communities, and Consumer Rights and Protection. Who doesn’t want to be healthy, happy, and secure?
Better Health comprises physical and mental health, and access to the affordable, effective services that help us maintain health status, including high-quality long-term care for those who need it. Washington State ranks #2 in the nation for quality and cost-effectiveness, per the AARP Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard.
To ensure high-quality care, we need more caregivers—professional in-home care aides who are trained and culturally competent to serve the needs of an increasingly diverse older population and family caregivers who have sufficient support to provide quality care and maintain their own quality of life.
Read the Aging Readiness report for information specific to long-term supports and services, family caregiver support, WA Cares, the CARE Act, caregiving workforce, and prescription drug costs. Read also about housing issues, including affordability, “missing middle housing,” and eviction protections. Consumer protection, fraudulent telemarketing, the digital divide, and protection from utility disconnection are also of concern.
The Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services, which I chair, has some specific “asks” for our state legislators:
- Commit to age-friendly communities: Support digital equity, housing affordability/homelessness prevention, accessible healthcare, public health, and climate change mitigation.
- Safeguard the Long-Term Supports and Services Case Management Program: Ensure hard-won parity is reflected in future maintenance budgets.
- Protect the Health Home Program: Increase the reimbursement rate for Health Home to accommodate rising cost of hiring and retaining qualified care coordinators in King County.
- Invest in the Dementia Catalyst Program: Expand the program to two new sites to provide dementia-capable programming to a total of four Area Agency on Aging sites statewide.
For more information, read the ADS Advisory Council’s 2023 legislative agenda and the W4A 2023 Budget Priorities online. And if you haven’t read these recent AgeWise articles yet, you can still do so:
- Join Us in Advocating for Older Adults, People with Disabilities, and Caregivers (January 2023)
- Lining Up 2023 Legislative Priorities (January 2023)
- Statewide Advocacy for Long-Term Care Services and Supports (December 2022)
As always, we would appreciate your support. You can let your state legislators know what you think about specific issues or about the Aging Readiness legislative platform in general by calling the toll-free Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
We’re all in this together!
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).
Interested in joining the Advisory Council? Visit www.agingkingcounty.org/advisory-council/ for more information. To apply, click “Join Us” on that page.
Mark Your Calendars
Following are upcoming events in which ADS Advisory Council members will participate:
- NW Universal Design Council: Tuesday, February 7 (3–4 p.m.); online. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Dinah.Stephens@seattle.gov in advance.
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, February 10 (12 noon–2 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Sariga.Santhosh@seattle.gov.
- Mayor’s Council on African American Elders: Friday, February 17 (2:00–3:30 p.m.), virtual only. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Karen.Winston@seattle.gov.
- President’s Day: Monday, February 20. Aging and Disability Services offices will be closed this day.
- Age Friendly Civic Coffee: Wednesday, February 22 (1:30–3:30 p.m.), at the Lake City Senior Center (or join us 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.