The Chair’s Corner – July 2017 AgeWise King County

Older adults enjoying a meal together

Regardless if we are young or old, we all need connections to live purposeful and healthy lives—connections to family and friends, services, and resources. Who are you connected with? What do you need to connect to? Where are these connections that can assist you to live meaningfully and increase longevity? Well, you’re in luck! Many of these connections are highlighted in this issue of AgeWise King County.

Our first connection is with Cathy Knight, the new Aging and Disability Services division director with the Human Services Department. Read about her 30-plus years of service to older adults and individuals with disabilities, along with her passion for advocacy sprinkled with personal touches.The next connection is around social participation. See how older adults found a unique way to connect in Wired to Be One. Don’t know where to start with social connections? Read “What’s the Big Deal about Social Participation?” for ideas. Looking for more structured social opportunities? Consider touring an Adult Day Care or Adult Home Care provider site.

Our next connection point includes services and resources. Swedish’s Optimal Aging will point you to one-stop-shop services. In need of a more supportive community as you age? Check out the article on villages—it may inspire you to create one for your own neighborhood while bringing connections closer to home. End-of-life planning is not a popular topic of conversation for some people, but a necessary one that we should all have with our loved ones, regardless of our age. If you haven’t started the conversation, our end-of-life article will help you get started and connect you to resources.

And finally, I’m pleased to report that we’re connecting with Washington’s older adults in a very important way—Washington state was recently ranked #1 in the country for providing long-term care options for its residents. These options include in-home care, assisted living communities and adult family homes, as well as skilled nursing facilities for those that need the 24/7 access to medical care. While there is still work to be done, we can take a moment to celebrate the progress our state has made in ensuring that our older citizens have the care they need as they age.

Connections are an important part of our lives that help us to thrive and live life fully. What new connection will you make today? The Fourth of July is just around the corner—it’s a perfect opportunity to connect with others while celebrating our nation’s independence. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

David BakerContributor David Baker is chair of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services, which publishes AgeWise King County. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail ( as well as applicants for open positions on the council. For more information, visit

This article originally appeared in AgeWise King County, July 2017.