November is a very busy month for most of us. For Aging Network advocates, it’s a time to line up our legislative requests. You can read about last year’s priorities here and learn what happened in the last legislative session by reading “Legislative Advocacy Makes a Difference” (AgeWise, April 2022). We made major gains, for which I am thankful!
This year, our legislative agenda is likely to include increased funding to build dementia-capable communities; to stabilize housing, especially among people at risk of homelessness and those exiting acute care settings; and to provide more transportation options for older people. Stay tuned for information about our 2023 legislative agenda in the December issue of AgeWise.
In November, we turn our focus to caregiver support programs and celebrate National Caregiver Support Month. We thank Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell and all members of the Seattle City Council for proclaiming November as Family Caregiver Support Month in Seattle.
Several articles in this issue related to Caregiver Support Month and, more generally, to services and supports that caregivers can access for themselves or their loved ones. The most important thing to remember is that help is available! If you or anyone you know needs answers to questions about aging, disability and/or caregiving, there’s one number to call: 844-348-5464 (toll-free). Community Living Connections is a network with both telephonic and in-person services that are professional, confidential, and—because Aging and Disability Services coordinates and funds the services—your call and consultation are free of charge.
Election Day (November 8) requires reading our voters pamphlets and making choices on our ballots. We are lucky to have mail-in ballots, statewide. Some states aren’t as progressive in encouraging every eligible adult to participate in the most fundamental form of civic engagement. Washington State and King County have been leaders in this regard.
Friday, November 11, is Veterans Day. We thank everyone who serves or has served in the Armed Forces. Numerous organizations acknowledge veterans on Veterans Day. If you want to celebrate in a big way, consider visiting Auburn, Washington the Saturday before Veterans Day (November) to take in their parade and a host of other celebratory events. Learn more on the City of Auburn website.
One of the services that Aging and Disability Services (ADS) provides to support veterans is PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives). We can thank the voter-approved King County Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy for funding that allows ADS to dedicate one counselor—herself a military veteran—to work with older veterans, veteran spouses, and spouse survivors who are experiencing depression. This service augments counseling that veterans can receive through the VA. It is evidence-based (proven to work), helping to reduce depression symptoms and improve health overall. For more information, visit www.agingkingcounty.org/PEARLS.
At the end of this month, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday. I encourage you to do two things this year:
- Read at least one article about the perspectives and contributions of Indigenous Peoples in this country. A good place to start is A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving (Center for Racial Justice in Education).
- Practice gratitude. Read “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain” (Greater Good Magazine) to learn how this act can change your life.
Personally, I’m thankful for so much—my health, my family and friends, my colleagues, and our natural environment. In pausing to recognize the good things in my life, I am better equipped to face challenges effectively and far more resilient when difficult situations arise, as they do.
Happy Thanksgiving to all—keep learning, growing, and expressing thanks!
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, November 1 (3–4 p.m.); online. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Dinah.Stephens@seattle.gov in advance.
- Age-Friendly Housing Forum—Where Will Seattle’s Older Adults Live?: Wednesday, November 2 (12 noon–4:30 p.m., Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall). Lunch is included. Free but pre-registration is required.
- General Election Day: Tuesday, November 8. Completed ballots must be returned on or before this day. Drop boxes are open until 8 p.m.
- Veterans Day: Friday, November 11. This is a national holiday. Aging and Disability Services offices will be closed.
- 2022 African American Caregivers Forum: Saturday, November 12 (12 noon–2 p.m.); online. Save the date! Visit the forum webpage for more information, including the pre-registration link.
- Age Friendly Civic Coffee—Winterization: Thursday, November 17 (10:30 a.m.–12 noon; Seattle Public Library). This is a hybrid event—participate in person or online. Log on via our Virtual Events webpage or on Facebook. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
- ADS Advisory Council: Friday, November 18 (12 noon–2 p.m.), virtual only. Note: This meeting usually takes place on the second Friday of the month. It was rescheduled this month due to the Veterans Day holiday. To receive the meeting link, e-mail Sariga.Santhosh@seattle.gov.
- Thanksgiving Holidays: Thursday, November 24, is a national holiday. Aging and Disability Services offices will be closed Thanksgiving Day and the next day.