Health Care Tops Issues on the Minds of Older King County Residents
Welcome to the November 2011 issue of Seniors Digest!
Health care is in the news more today than at any time in our nation's history. Health care reform is a pivotal issue across the country, including King County. When Aging and Disability Services (ADS) drafted the Area Plan on Aging for 2012–2015, questionnaire respondents indicated that affordable health care is the highest priority for older adults, and second only to mobility concerns for adults with disabilities.
Person-centered health care considers community and social supports as well as traditional health care services. Here, South Park Senior Center director Dagmar Cronn (left) poses with South Park resident Nancy Hewitt, caregiver for 95-year-young Bob McNeil (right). See "At the Heart of the South Park Community" in this issue of Seniors Digest to learn more!
Recently, ADS initiated conversations with local hospitals and other health care organizations about the potential for establishing a coordinated care transition model in King County. By encouraging patient-centered communications and accountability among health care providers—and promoting healthy aging and wellness programs for all—ADS hopes to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and improve overall quality of health care.
ADS already contributes to health reform savings in a variety of ways. King County Care Partners, the Family Caregiver Support Program, the Case Management Program, PEARLS, health promotion programs, and Senior Information & Assistance support thousands of adults with chronic conditions and diseases, many of whom would utilize expensive pharmacy services, emergency rooms, and other hospital care more frequently, were it not for the home- and community-based services they receive.
With this issue, the ADS Advisory Council launches a new series of articles on navigating the health care system. First up is an article by long-time Senior Information and Assistance (I&A) advocate Alain Rhone, who offers a wealth of ideas and links to local resources that will help you get the support you need if you are faced with managing a chronic condition or life-threatening disease.
In the same vein, Mayor's Council of African American Elders vice-chair Kameka Brown discusses the concept of patient-centered care—a key strategy in health care reform—in her article, "What's All This Talk about Patient-Centered Medical Homes?"
Also in this issue:
- "At the Heart of the South Park Community" by ADS planner Karen Winston, about South Park Senior Center director Dagmar Cronn's commitment to community.
- Importance of Effective Advocacy Continues
- Health Promotion Research Center Celebrates 25 Years of Success
- An Apple a Day Really Does Keep the Doctor Away
- Veterans Day Reminder: Military Service and Social Security
- Survey: Tell Us What You Think About Seniors Digest
- November Calendar
- "Quit Smoking and Save" Word Scramble
|Advisory Council Seeks New Members |
The Seattle-King County Advisory Council on Aging and Disability Services (ADS) is recruiting volunteer members for terms beginning in early 2012. The 27-member council plays a vital role in guiding ADS as it administers services for older people in King County, advocating for older adults and adults with disabilities with elected officials, and providing much-needed input to sponsors (City of Seattle, United Way & King County). Members donate 4–10 hours per month. Apply online or contact Gigi Meinig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-684-0652.
For More Information
See "Links You Can Use" for local websites that can direct you to services for seniors. And check out the Online Information Center, where you will find resources and information about issues of interest to older adults and their families.
We hope you will refer to our electronic pages often—to obtain advice, to learn of new and exciting services, and to offer us your constructive feedback.
Read Seniors Digest and tell us what you think. We are here to help.
Kaylene Moon, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services