Welcome to the January 2006 Seniors Digest
Happy New Year! We hope you all survived the holidays, and that your New Year's resolutions include staying safe, active and engaged. This month's Seniors Digest offers articles and resources designed to help you on that quest:
"Darker Days Mean More Danger for Pedestrians"
Tips from Public Health, Seattle & King County about safe walking in the winter months
"Don't Be a Fraud Victim"
Scams targeting seniors are an epidemic in the U.S., but if you do your homework, you can avoid many common rip-offs
"Travel Tips for Older Adults"
Travel is a great way to stay active and many seniors find this a great time of life to hit the road!
"Two Common Questions About the Medicare Prescription Drug Program"
When should you sign up? And what about the "penalty" for signing up late?
For me, the beginning of 2006 marks the end of my tenure as Chair of the Advisory Council on Aging and Disabilities. I want to thank all of you readers for taking such a great interest in our electronic newsletter. It has been a satisfying experience to take part in its development and to see our readership grow and grow! I've enjoyed your letters and comments, and appreciated your suggestions.
My special thanks to Maria Langlais and Rosemary Cunningham, our Aging and Disability staff members, as well as to Dennis Kenny and his staff at Caresource. They have provided all the wisdom and technical skills necessary to produce such an effective newsletter. It has been great fun to work with them.
It is now my pleasure to introduce the new 2006 Chairman of the Advisory Council on Aging and Disabilities, Don Moreland. We are very lucky to have such a qualified leader. He has a great deal of experience in political and social issues for King County and the state, and will bring a fresh approach to our work in advocating for the elderly and disabled. Hereafter, Don will greet you at the beginning of each issue of Seniors Digest.
My best wishes to all of you for continued success in making Seattle and King County a very good and healthy place to grow older.
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.
Timmie Faghin, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services
* More about Don Moreland
Don's passion is definitely human and civil rights. All his life he has worked for positive change, and he will continue to do so on the Advisory Council. He feels that both on the council and in the larger political arena, a bi-partisan approach is most effective. As the new chair he wants to include all voices and not let political affiliations become a barrier. "It's important to reach out to activists in all parties," he says.
Don graduated from West Seattle High and the UW. He was an officer in the Navy and served in the early years of the Vietnam War. He worked on the transition teams for two governors, and served on the Seattle Human Rights Commission, as a national board member of the Human Rights Campaign, and as a member of the Governor's first AIDS Task Force that led to Washington's AIDS Omnibus legislation and protection. Don is also a founding member of Mature Friends, a non-profit organization serving the special needs of older gays and lesbians and individuals with AIDS-related disabilities. He is also currently on the board of Bailey-Boushay House and is a member of their strategic planning committee.
Don has had a great deal of experience with the health care system, both with his own health, and through his family and friends. His partner of 32 years died of cancer and Don himself is cancer survivor. The state of health care in this country is a big concern to him, and is one of the things that prompted him to join the Advisory Council's Health Care Task Force.
Don's brother, who has cerebral palsy, had lived with their parents all of his adult life. When their mother's Alzheimer's made it increasingly difficult for her to care for him, Don took over the caregiver role, moving to a building where he and his brother could each have their own apartment. His brother is thriving: while he continues to need some assistance, he enjoys the independence of living on his own, and he still has the security of family close by. Don doesn't really consider himself a caregiver. He says, "This is just what people our age do. We take care of our family and friends."