Aging and Disability Services promotes evidence-based programs in the Seattle-King County area that can keep you moving and help you stay connected.
In addition, Aging and Disability Services promotes access to basic needs like health food and oral health.
Additional healthy aging programs and services are available in the community. Click on the headings below for more information.Falls Prevention
Did you know that one in three Americans age 65+ falls every year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans (see this and other sobering statistics below).
Many of these falls are preventable. Aging and Disability Services promotes public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults.
Following these key strategies will reduce your risk of falling:
- Exercise for balance and strength.
- Ask your doctor to review your medicines.
- Get your eyes checked.
- Make your home safer.
- Sturdy shoes.
Falls Prevention Awareness Day is September 22
Falls Prevention Awareness Day is a national day of recognition that raises awareness about how to prevent fall-related injuries among older adults. For information about ways that you or your organization can get involved, read the National Council on Aging (NCOA) compendium of state and local Falls Prevention Awareness Day activities (2018, 2017, 2016 | 2015 | 2014). The NCOA also provides useful infographics and handouts (click here).
For information about programs available in Seattle-King County, see resources listed below or e-mail ADS planner Mary Pat O’Leary.
Falls Prevention Statistics
- One-quarter of Americans aged 65+ fall each year.
- Every 15 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.
- Every 29 minutes, an older adult dies following a fall.
- Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
- Sixty percent of fatal falls occur in the home.
- In Washington state, falls result in over 12,000 hospitalizations each year (compared to 2,600 hospitalizations due to motor vehicle accidents).
- Fifty-four percent of older adults are discharged to skilled nursing homes after hospitalization for falls.
- Only 22 percent of people hospitalized for falls are able to return home.
- The financial toll for older U.S. resident falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $54.9 billion by 2020.
For more statistics, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
The Centers for Disease Control’s Guide to Implementing Effective Community-Based Falls Prevention Programs includes tips for planning, partnerships, selection of an evidence-based falls prevention program, and implementing, promoting, and assessing your program.
Falls Prevention in Russian and Ukrainian Communities
In April 2012, Aging and Disability Services received a Washington State Department of Health grant to test the effectiveness of the falls prevention strategies among Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking long-term care case management clients living in residential facilities who had a history of falls or were at higher risk for falls.
- A two-hour workshop led by Russian-speaking case managers and an Enhance Fitness trainer
- Russian language falls prevention posters posted throughout the facilities
- A follow-up training that recognized participants for their efforts, lifestyle changes, and/or progress
- Aging and Disability Services was selected to present a Falls Prevention poster in the Innovations Showcase at the UWfalls prevention poster showing success of Russian and Ukrainian elders program Working Together for an Elder Friendly Future conference (September 2013), highlighting the success of its Falls Prevention in Russian and Ukrainian Communities program. Click on the image to open a larger copy (PDF).
- Trainings were augmented with a short video, produced in both English and Russian (click on images below):
Participants viewed What YOU Can Do to Prevent Falls, a falls prevention “digital story” created in two languages by Russian- and Ukrainian-speaking case managers at Aging and Disability Services. Click on each image to view.
For a summary of results, read “Falls Prevention Efforts Succeed in South King County.”
Falls Prevention Resources
- Fall Prevention Clinic at Harborview, UW Medicine
- Falls Prevention Awareness in Public Transportation (National Center on Senior Transportation
- Living Well With Chronic Conditions (Chronic Disease Self-Management Program) (see section below)
- One Step Ahead Fall Prevention Program (King County EMS)
- Sound Generations:
Tools for Health Care Providers and Human Services Professionals
- Centers for Disease Control—links to facts, data, toolkit for health care providers, and publications
- Fall Prevention Center of Excellence
- National Council on Aging Falls Prevention Tools and Resources
- Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) Training (Pierce College)
- Washington State DSHS/Aging and Disability Services Administration Falls Prevention
- 10 Years Standing Together to Prevent Falls (AgeWise King County, September 2017)
- Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016 (AgeWise King County, September 2016)
- Exercise Key to Falls Prevention, Brain Health (AgeWise King County, March 2016)
- Standing Up to Senior Falls: Local Program Promotes Independence and Safety at Home (AgeWise King County, March 2015)
- Strong Today, Falls Free Tomorrow (AgeWise King County, September 2014)
- Falls: Not an Inevitable Consequence of Aging (AgeWise King County, May 2014)
- Eight-Week Class Turns Participant Into Leader, NCOA website (story about Marjorie Brown, participant in A Matter of Balance classes at South East Seattle Senior Center)
Ongoing conditions like arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, pain, and lung disease often force older adults to give up their independence. Evidence-based programs shown here can help you improve your health and maintain your independence.
Living Well workshops were developed by the Stanford University School of Medicine. A series of six workshops, held once a week in community settings such as senior centers, churches, libraries, or hospitals—places where people with different chronic health problems frequently come together. The workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals who have an ongoing health condition or chronic disease themselves.
The model emphasizes the patient’s role in managing ongoing or chronic health conditions. Peer leaders help participants build self-confidence and adopt healthy behaviors. Subjects covered include:
- Techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation.
- Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance.
- Appropriate use of medications.
- Communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals.
- How to evaluate new treatments.
The process through which the program is taught makes it effective. Classes are highly participative. Mutual support and success build each participant’s confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.
The program is especially helpful for people with one or more ongoing or chronic conditions. It gives them the skills or tools they need to manage their health and keep active.
- AARTH—African American Reach and Teach Health (Jessica Williams, 206-850-2070, or Sanura Dean, 206-850-2070)
- Aging and Disability Services (Mary Pat O’Leary, 206-684-0683)
- Kaiser Permanente (Kathryn Ramos, 206-326-2807)—workshops are for Kaiser Permanente patients
- Kin On Community Health (Michael Woo, 206-652-2330)—focus on Chinese-speaking community
- Sound Generations (Camille Gabriel, 206-268-6715)
The Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) is an evidenced-based treatment program for older adults with disabilities who also have minor depression, which is recognized by the Administration on Community Living as meeting the highest criteria.
The PEARLS program is an outgrowth of a five-year research project conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC). The research study showed PEARLS home-based depression management counseling significantly reduced depression symptoms and improved health status in chronically medically ill older adults with minor depression.
PEARLS participants are three times more likely than non-participants to significantly reduce or completely eliminate their depression.
Support for Veterans, Spouses, and Spouse Survivors
Aging and Disability Services offers no-cost, in-home, PEARLS counseling to men and women who served in the military, including their spouse and spouse survivor, aged 55+ who may be feeling down, sad, or blue. PEARLS stands for Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding LiveS.
PEARLS helps people feel better by identifying problems and working toward solutions. PEARLS counseling may be provided in addition to other veteran and non-veteran services.
- Feeling down, sad, or hopeless more than half the days
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things more than half the days
- Age 55 or older
- English speaking
- Veteran, military spouse, or spouse survivor
Not functionally impaired by schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, manic depressive disorder, cognitive impairment, or current substance or alcohol abuse
For PEARLS for Veterans publications, click on the images at right.
The following articles about veterans, many regarding PEARLS, were published in AgeWise King County:
- PEARLS for Veterans Supports Spouses Who Are Caregivers (March 2019)
- A Strong Woman—A Resilient Vet (November 2017)
- A Veteran’s Take on Getting Older (November 2017)
- Did You Serve in the Military? (June 2016)
- King County Veterans and Human Services Levy Makes a Difference (November 2014)
- Veterans Benefits and Support Services Can Change Your Life (November 2014)
- Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives Helps Kent Veteran Succeed at Problem-Solving (November 2012); also available in PDF.
For the PEARLS for Veterans brochure, click on each of the images at right.
To view two brief videos about PEARLS support for veterans, click on each of the images at the bottom of this page.
See more information and resources for veterans at www.agingkingcounty.org/veterans.
Older adults, adults with disabilities, caregivers, family members and professionals can call us to get objective, confidential information about community resources and service options.
This program received funding from the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy.
- Translating PEARLS: lessons learned from providers and participants (Frontiers in Public Health, April 27, 2015)
- Project Summary A brief summary of program design and results.
- PEARLS Implementation Toolkit
The how-to manual for implementing PEARLS in your agency.
- PEARLS website (managed by the Center for Healthcare Improvement for Addictions, Mental Illness, and Medically Vulnerable Populations (CHAMMP))
- PEARLS Training Video
Testimonials about the effectiveness of PEARLS training for counselors and other professionals.
- VA Caregiver Support The Veterans Administration offers this website for caregivers of veterans of all ages, along with a toll-free support line: 1-855-260-3274.
The Program to Encourage Rewarding Active Lives: A Digital Story,
by Paul Snow, Aging and Disability Services, September 2012.
The Program to Encourage Rewarding Active Lives,
by Lori Sanford, Aging and Disability Services, February 2013.
Our decades-long commitment to healthy aging includes funding for both community- and home-delivered meals for elders, and programs that combine culturally-appropriate physical fitness and food.
ADS helps meet the dietary needs of adults age 60+ through congregate and in-home meal programs and nutrition education, allowing for better physical and mental health, and greater independence and social contact. In 2017, hundreds of thousands of meals were served to King County residents, including:
- 35,340 individuals who received meals at senior centers or other congregate meal sites
- 320 individuals who received emergency meals
- 2,690 individuals who received home-delivered meals
Congregate meal programs help meet the dietary needs of adults 60 years and older by providing nutritionally sound meals in a group setting. Nutrition education and social and fitness activities are also provided.
- Basic Food/SNAP (State of Washington)
- Fresh Bucks (City of Seattle)
- EBT Matching (Washington State Farmers Market Association)
- ADS funded Senior Congregate Meal Sites
- Materials for 2008 Senior Nutrition Program RFI – includes community input; Science to Policy research; best practices; and program trends.
- Community Based Nutrition Services: Policy to Practice Sept. 2011. Presentation by Jean Lloyd, AoA National Nutritionist. Includes relationship of nutrition to health and functionality, and demographic and health data for nutrition program participants.
Aging and Disability Services also contracts with community-based organizations to provide home-delivered meals (sometimes called “Meals on Wheels”) for older persons who are unable to leave their homes to shop or prepare nutritious meals. For information about eligibility, contact Community Living Connections at 1-844-348-5464.
By making healthy food more affordable and easier to access, our goal is to increase the health and well being of our community’s most vulnerable populations by:
- Identifying purchasing options to meet program needs and budgets, including online ordering through the Puget Sound Food Hub, CSA models, and buying direct from farms.
- Building skills and knowledge through community kitchen trainings, farm tours and other educational opportunties.
- Helping communities develop low-cost shared purchasing models for ordering bulk produce to distribute in natural gathering places.
Awards and Recognition
- 2015 United States Conference of Mayor’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Award
- 2014 Sustainability Leadership Award for “Resource Impact” from Sustainable Seattle.
- 2012 Health Champion Award from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Farm to Table Partners
- Seattle Human Services Department
- Northwest Agriculture Business Center
- Public Health – Seattle King County
- Seattle Tilth
- Seattle Children’s Hospital
- WA State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA), Farm to School Program
- Senior Nutrition Program providers
- Over 80 pre-school, childcare, and before and after school programs in Seattle and King County.
- Washington Grown and Farm to Preschool Toolkits
Developed by WSDA’s Farm to School Program, these toolkits provides farms, schools, families, and communities with resources and information to incorporate the bounty of Washington produce into their programs and menus.
- Good Food Bag
A community based CSA model where communities and programs purchase in bulk and distribute to members in affordable family or individual sized portions.
- Seattle Tilth Good Food Bag
- NABC and Refugee Immigrant Family Center Good Food Bag Model
- Training Video for Senior Meal Programs
Filmed at the Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation, and produced by WSDA’s Farm to Schools Program in collaboration with Senior Services (now known as Sound Generations).
- Puget Sound Food Hub
- Log-in to Farm to Table purchasing website
- Farm to Table Brochure
- Print ready version (page 2 flipped)
F2T Presentations and Reports
- “Getting fresh local produce to kids and seniors: Exceeding expectations with the Farm-to-Table Partnership in King County, WA,” presentation by Maria Langlais, Aging and Disability Services, for the 2012 American Public Health Association Conference.
- Assessing Delivery Models for Childcare and Senior Meal Programs , October 2012. By Karen Mauden, Northwest Business Agriculture Center (NABC).
- Farm to Senior . A report from Farm Fresh Rhode Island which features lessons learned from Seattle and King County. November 2014.
F2T Media Coverage
- “Cooking up a ‘Farm to Table’ Storm at Little Tables All Over the City,” by Martha Baskin, Green Acre Radio, June 2016.
- USDA Officials Visit F2T Preschool. West Seattle Blog, March 24, 2015.
- F2T Receives Grant Award from US Conference of Mayors Jan 2015. Seattle was one of six cities recognized for their for childhood obesity prevention initiatives.
- CDC Awards “Health Champion Recognition” to Farm to Table, June 2012 issue of Agewise King County.
- NABC/Puget Sound Food Network Blog
- National Recognition of Health Champions, Tukwila Reporter, February 23, 2016
- Farm to Table: Bringing Healthy Food From Local Farms to Local Kids, Green Acres Radio report by Marth Baskin, April 14, 2011.
- Mapping Our Voices, Farm to Table Digital Stories
F2T CDC Grant Related Materials
- Project Evaluation: Policy, System and Environment Changes, January 2012, by Laurie Ringaert, PHSKC
- Project Update: Final report submitted March 29, 2012.
- CPPW Public Health King County
Funding is currently provided by the City of Seattle, Public Health Seattle-King County and the HumanLinks Foundation. The CDC provided initial funding for the project through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) and the Community Transformation grants, both of which have enabled project partners to leverage other resources and opportunities.
The 2019 application period is now closed
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides checks for eligible older adults to use at Farmers Markets throughout King County. The 2019 application process opened on Monday, April 8, and closed on Friday, May 10, 2019. Applications required a postmark no later than May 10, 2019.
Because funds are limited, a random selection process is used to select recipients. All 2019 applicants will receive mail notification of their status on or before July 1.
In 2019, applicants were required to be:
- A King County resident
- 60 years old or older (or age 55+ for American Indian/Alaska Native), AND
- Low-income (below 185% of Federal Poverty Level):*
- $1,926 monthly income for one person ($23,112 annual income)
- $2,607 monthly income for two people ($31,284 annual income)
- For larger households, add $681 per month for each additional person
Following are tips provided for completing the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program application. We are unable to process your application if it is incomplete.
- Print information clearly on your form.
- Be sure you meet individual eligibility (listed above).
- Include your apartment number, if applicable.
- Sign the form in the Participant Signature box. Note: The form must be signed by the person applying for the vouchers.
- Include your full date of birth.
- Complete all of the boxes.
When the application period is open, application forms will be available in 11 languages, listed below.
For more information, contact Community Living Connections at 206-962-8467 or (toll-free) 1-844-348-KING (5464).
Find a farmers market near you!
- King County Farmers Markets participating in 2017 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
- Washington State Farmers Market Association (confirm in advance whether the market accepts SFMNP checks)
- Puget Sound Fresh Farmers Market List (confirm in advance whether the market accepts SFMNP checks)
- For transportation assistance contact: Sound Generations Hyde Shuttle or Catholic Community Services – Volunteer Services
- Program Brochures (multiple languages)
- Fruit & Vegetable Brochures (multiple languages)
- Fresh From the Farm Newsletters (English, Russian and Spanish)
Results of 2003 survey distributed to farmers, market managers, and older consumers.
Detailed evaluation of market basket pilot project. Research articles on the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Pilot Program published in January 2004 issue of Preventing Chronic Disase, Centers for Disease Control:
How does Washington stay healthy? One of the ways is managing our mouths.
For a series of public service announcements about oral health produced by the Washington Dental Service Foundation, visit The Mighty Mouth.
Aging and Disability Services recognizes that oral health is an important factor in overall health and well-being. Oral health is included in Healthy People 2020 , the national objectives for improving the health of all Americans.
Oral Health Self-Management Plan
Like flags on a beach that indicate hazardous surf conditions, ADS has created green, yellow, and red oral health flags that indicate health (green), indications of poor health (yellow), and situations that require immediate medical attention (red). Special thanks to the Washington Dental Service Foundation for reviewing this information.
On the back of the Oral Health Flags, you will find a Personal Health Record (PHR) that can help track contact information for your dentist and other health care providers, questions to ask your providers, medications and supplements you take, and other important information.
- Oral Health Self-Management Plan (full literacy)
- Oral Health Self-Management Plan (low literacy)
- Quick Tips for Better Oral Health
Oral Health Care Cards for Caregivers
The Washington Dental Service Foundation developed Oral Care Cards for Caregivers cards in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. These are a great tool for caregivers looking for techniques to make oral care easier.
Finding Affordable Dental Care
We know it’s difficult to access affordable dental care. A good place to start is Finding Dental Care, a SeniorsOralHealth.org webpage maintained by our partners at Washington Dental Service Foundation. There are three links:
- Dental Access Programs for Adults in Washington State
- Finding Dental Care (interactive Washington state directory—search by payment options and age group)
- Senior Center-based Dental Hygiene Services
In addition, we recommend contacting Community Living Connections to request information about other forms of assistance.
Nuts About Oral Health (video)
Nuts About Oral Health, a digital story by Maria Langlais,
Aging and Disability Services, February 2013.
- Adults Over 60 (Mouth Healthy/American Dental Association)
- CDC Division of Oral Health
- Dental Clinics Accepting Medicaid (Washington Apple Health) for Adults (211 Resource Talk, January 2014)
- Oral Health (HealthyPeople.gov)
- Public Health—Seattle & King County Oral Health Program
- Seniors Oral Health (Washington Dental Service Foundation)
- Washington State Dental Association – Public Resources
Click on the headings above for more information. For free, confidential access to aging network services in Seattle-King County, contact Community Living Connections.