Seniors Digest
Seattle-King County Edition
  November 1, 2006 

Welcome to the November 2006 Seniors Digest

Kawabe Picture WallThis issue of Seniors Digest begins with a look at an innovative computer education program located in a local senior community. If you are reading this, you are probably one of the increasing number of older adults who is going online and taking advantage of the many advantages of computer literacy. If you’re still uncertain about your skills, check out computer classes through your local senior center or the Seniors Training Seniors in Computer Basics program—and if you are already a whiz and can offer help for others, this might be a great volunteer opportunity!

To learn about another group of volunteers who are making a difference, read about ElderFriends, a local program that matches adult volunteers with isolated or homebound elders for friendly visits.

Also in this issue:

  • Just in time for those family holiday visits, take a look at our two-part article on “grandchild-proofing” your house.

  • Do you need a flu shot? Answer six simple questions to find out!

  • Michael Miller of Sound Transit offers suggestions for navigating the sometimes frustrating maze of determining whether a person qualifies for services for people with disabilities.

  • “Fall Is Bulb Planting Time” Word Puzzle

For More Information....

Check out, our national companion website. The Seniors Digest Resource Center is a great place to begin your search for information about issues of interest to seniors 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.

Don Moreland, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services

* More About Joe Ike  

Thanks to Joe Ike, the residents of Kawabe Memorial House have learned to use computers and to love doing so. 

After Joe retired from a career as an electrical engineer, his wife encouraged him to try volunteer work. Joe began as an instructor in the computer lab for Nikkei Horizons, the educational branch of Nikkei Concerns. The computer lab soon found a permanent home in Kawabe House, and Joe has been busy ever since teaching several computer classes each week in Japanese, English and Korean. As a result of Joe’s classes, the seniors at Kawabe House are now able to e-mail their grandchildren, exchange photos with relatives in other countries, and read on-line newspapers and magazines in Japanese and Korean. 
Joe is implementing a wireless Internet network (“wi-fi”) throughout the building so that residents on every floor can access the Internet for a low, one-time-only fee.  He is also building computers from scratch for residents who would like to have one in their apartment (see more on this in the next article, “Bridging the Digital Divide”).  Joe trained one of the younger Kawabe House residents, Terry Uno, to assist him with both of these efforts.

Connie Devaney, the Director of Kawabe House, says that Joe has made a world of difference in the lives of the residents. She says, “He is an angel. We couldn’t have done any of this without him.” She credits the growth of the program to Joe, who has the spirit of kimochi, or feeling of goodwill and community giving.  

In addition to his volunteer computer work for the residents, Joe serves as the computer troubleshooter for the staff at Kawabe House, who regularly put in “911” calls to Joe when their computers are on the fritz.  He also created the "picture wall" you see at the top of this page, donating all the materials and his time and expertise to produce digital photos of Kawabe House residents. The picture wall is very popular, and newer residents can't wait to have their portraits included. 

Joe serves on the board of directors for Kawabe House, and is currently the Vice-President.

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 This Issue
Welcome to the November 2006 Seniors Digest
Bridging the Digital Divide: The Nikkei Horizon Computer Program at Kawabe Memorial House
ElderFriends Volunteers Offer Companionship
"Grandchild-Proof" Your Home
Child Safety Checklist for Grandparents
Are You Disabled?
Flu Shots 2006-7
"Fall Is Bulb Planting Time" Scramble
Links You Can Use
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