Let’s Hear It for Aging Readiness

Older woman of African descent and older man of Asian descent

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,2023 AARP Aging Readiness report 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.

2023 Legislative Agenda - Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability ServicesThe 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.
Washington State Toll-Free Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000

The toll-free Legislative Hotline remains one of the easiest ways to contact elected officials in Olympia. Call 1-800-562-6000, give your name, address, and message (e.g., what you support or oppose), and your senator and two state representatives will receive the message.

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:

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!

Joe HaileyContributor Joe Hailey chairs the Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging & Disability Services. He welcomes input from readers via e-mail (

This article originally appeared in the February 2023 issue of AgeWise King County.