Have you every wondered where the practice of making New Year’s resolutions came from? “The History of New Year’s Resolutions” (History.com) tells us this practice has evolved over thousands of years. The article also points out that very few people achieve goals put forth in resolutions. So … let’s shake things up! Let’s set New Year’s goals for our friends, family, and community, instead of ourselves, and do what we can to make these things happen.
Here are five of the goals on my list that will help other people:
- Maintain Washington state’s #1 rank in the nation in providing high-quality long-term services and supports. To make this happen, I will send at least three e-mails or hotline messages to my state legislators, urging their continued support for community-based supports for family caregivers, older people, and adults with disabilities, including dementia and Alzheimer’s. Learn more about our state ranking on www.longtermscorecard.org. Learn more about state legislative issues at WASeniorLobby.org.
- Make “Community Living Connections 844-348-5464” a household name and number. This is who to call when you don’t know who to call about an aging or disability concern. Your call and consultation are free of charge, professional, and confidential. To make this happen, I will request Community Living Connections magnets from Aging and Disability Services and give one to each of my friends. Learn more at www.communitylivingconnections.org.
- Ensure that my end-of-life documents are complete and accessible by my survivors. I don’t plan to die anytime soon but I can ensure that records are in place so that, when the time comes, my family won’t be burdened by financial and legal concerns while they are grieving. This is a worthy goal for everyone, at every age, even if there are no significant assets. Learn more at Getting Your Affairs in Order.
- Reach out to at least one friend every week. I hope you’ve read the magazine and newspaper articles about the health effects of social isolation and loneliness. It’s easy to make a difference in the life of a family member, friend, neighbor, or acquaintance by showing that we care. For added benefit, go for a walk together. Learn more on connect2affect.org.
- Confirm that my emergency supply kit is adequate in case of a disaster. Storms, emergencies, and disasters happen. Ensuring that I have a plan and am equipped to survive and perhaps be able to help others is good for my family, neighbors, and community. Learn more at makeitthrough.org.
I invite you to adopt my goals and/or write your own. Join me in setting goals that can benefit others for years to come.
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 ADS Advisory Council members will participate in during January and February:
- Age Friendly Seattle Civic Coffee Hour: Thursday, January 16 (10:30 – 11:30 a.m.) at The Seattle Public Library (Central Library, 1000 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle)
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, February 14 (12–2 p.m.). No business meeting in January.
- Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day in Olympia: Tuesday, February 18
- Senior Lobby Day in Olympia: Thursday, February 20
For more local Aging Network events, click here.