Chair’s Corner: Summer is Here!
Summer is finally here! Especially in sunny weather, the days are long and many of us enjoy more time outdoors with family, friends, and neighbors. Some of us hike. Some of us go to the beach. I hope you take full advantage of these nice days and live life to the fullest.
We also have access to better food during the Pacific Northwest’s summer growing season. In this issue, you’ll read about Fresh Bucks, which matches expenditures by Washington State Basic Food participants at local farmers markets with State dollars. I encourage you to consider what you or someone you know can gain by signing up for Basic Food. A lot of older adults who qualify for food assistance don’t take advantage of it and they forego other benefits that can make a real difference in our ability to age healthfully.
Please let older friends and family members with lower incomes know that they can contact Community Living Connections—our “one-stop shop” for any questions or concerns about aging for disability—to find out whether they qualify for food assistance or other benefits. Trained advocates can walk older adults through application processes. It could result in a bushel of fresh produce over the summer—and a boatload of benefits throughout the year.
When you read the article about planning age-friendly events, note that July 26 is the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You would think that 28 years would be enough time for government, business, and community organizations to figure out how to host accessible events and make their work environments age- and disability-friendly, but they’re still learning. Fortunately, we have accessibility champions on the Age Friendly Seattle team and at Aging and Disability Services who have made this a priority. If you or anyone you know organizes events—potlucks, community meetings, social hours, anything—please download the community guide linked in the article. You are welcome to share!
One more summer event I want to highlight—Night Out Against Crime. I wish this national event—always the first Tuesday in August—was printed on every calendar. It’s a wonderful way to meet neighbors and “put more eyes on the street.” It’s also a way to avoid social isolation, which has a detrimental effect on health and longevity. What’s more, new connections among neighbors may result in providing occasional help when you need it. Mark your calendar now—August 7, 2018, is Night Out. Please take part if your neighbors are getting together. If they haven’t planned anything yet, follow the links for more information about how to plan something yourself. It’s worth it.
One last thing … Aging and Disability Services is assessing the needs of older adults, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers in King County. I would appreciate it if you would take a couple minutes to share your thoughts by completing a survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/V5WKDF8. Information will help inform upcoming funding opportunities. If you have questions, please e-mail planners Jon Morrison Winters or Angela Miyamoto.
Happy summer to all!
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.
This article originally appeared in the July 2018 issue of AgeWise King County (click here).