Welcome to the March 2008 Seniors Digest!
The Northwest Senior Games are coming! Registration begins soon, and this year offers 15 different events—everything from ice hockey to ballroom dance. All people age 50+ are invited to take part in this great opportunity to add more physical activity to our schedule.
Of course, even the most athletic of us still likes to spend a little couch potato time upon occasion, enjoying our favorite television programs. But a change taking place in February 2009 will impact some older TV sets. Read on to learn more about the DTV conversion, if it will affect your set, and how you can receive a coupon for a free conversion device.
Another subject that can certainly seem complex is anything having to do with the IRS! But this time the news is good: many seniors qualify for the $300 Economic Stimulus Payment, to be distributed starting in May. We've included information about what steps you need to take to be sure you receive your payment.
Also in this issue...
- The Senior Nutrition Program needs your input! Here's your chance to tell what you like about the program and your thoughts about changes that you might like to see.
- If the DTV conversion sparks nostalgia for the simpler days of TV, try your hand at the "Classic TV Families Trivia Quiz!"
- Spring offers a number of upcoming events for seniors and caregivers. See "Save the Date" to find out more.
For More Information
Check out SeniorsDigest.org, 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.
Michael Miller, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services
* More About Wallace Bell
Wallace finds his work with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program/ Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA/TCE) very rewarding, which helps explain why he has been at it for 16 years. He has worked at tax preparation sites on the Eastside and in Seattle, and has helped people from all walks of life and countries all over the world. The VITA/TCE program requires that he and all the volunteers pass a competency test before they can go to work, and he continues to pass it with flying colors.
How knowledgeable are these tax help volunteers? Wallace confides that when he first began volunteering with the program in the downtown Federal Building, once in a while IRS staff would come out of their nearby office to consult with VITA/TCE about their own tax questions!
Tax help volunteers provide a greatly appreciated service for many, many seniors, who (like most of us) can feel confused and daunted by the complex tax issues. Wallace adds, "It can also be a challenge when you're assisting someone who doesn't speak the same language as you, but you manage to get through it." While he has used the electronic or computer filing systems, he prefers to work at sites where everything is done on paper. It just seems more natural to him that way.
Wallace is the primary caregiver for his wife of 54 years and appreciates that he is able to schedule his volunteer work around her dialysis schedule. He is such an expert that he also prepares the tax forms for his four children and 19 grandchildren! You can find Wallace at the Southeast Senior Center every Thursday from noon to 3:00 p.m.