Welcome to the April 2006 Seniors Digest!
National Volunteer Week (April 23-29) falls during this month, and we'd like to start out this issue by highlighting the efforts of a group of senior advocates who recently enjoyed success presenting a united voice in support of some of Washington's most vulnerable residents during Senior Lobby Day. I can tell you it was most inspirational and empowering to be a part of this process!
April is also Parkinson's Awareness Month, and we share with you information about a number of innovative local programs to help people with Parkinson's disease and their families. We'd also like to invite you to participate in a free event to be held on May 24, designed to help older adults make wise food choices, stay physically active and lead healthier lives. See "Free Workshop Gives Older Adults Taste of Healthy Living" for more about this event.
We want to alert you to a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit scam that has been reported from around the country. Be aware of the techniques of these rip-off artists, and if you or a loved one has been targeted, we encourage you to report it. In other Medicare Part D news, just a reminder that May 15, 2006 is the deadline to sign up without penalty.
Also in this issue...
- Every Little Bit Helps: Simple Exercises You Can Do at Home
- "Exercise is for Everybody" Wordfind
- Links You Can Use
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.
Don Moreland, Chair
Seattle-King County Advisory Council
on Aging and Disability Services
* More about Joanne Brekke
ADS Advisory Council member Joanne Brekke is a former Washington State Representative. Elected in 1978, she represented the 32nd District for 15 years, during which her passion was human services. She worked to ensure that support was available for individuals of all ages, including the poor, the vulnerable, and senior citizens.
Joanne is a mother of three, and grandmother of six. She is a fourth generation Washingtonian, her great-grandparents having settled in the Snoqualmie Valley in 1887. She has a BA in Philosophy from the UW and a Masters in Public Administration that she proudly earned 35 years after receiving her undergraduate degree.
Of her years as a State Legislator, Joanne says, "They told me that it was a part-time job. They just didn't tell me what parts of myself I'd get to keep!" She reports that being a legislator is an all-consuming job. So when she left Olympia, she took five years off from all her usual "do-gooder projects" such as volunteering for board and committee memberships, in order to decompress. Now Joanne is back in the political fray again, this time as an advocate and activist, and she is having a great time! In addition to her work on the ADS Advisory Council, Joanne serves on the State Council of Senior Citizens and is an active volunteer with a number of organizations including Compassion & Choices.
In spite of her busy schedule, which includes multiple meetings most days, Joanne finds time for other pursuits, including puzzles jigsaw, crossword, and Sudoko, the Japanese numbers game. She is also an artist, working primarily with watercolors and pastels, and has also done life drawing, fine art photography and driftwood finishing.
We are lucky that Joanne also enjoys making sure that Washington State is a better place for older adults! She is always willing to share her Olympia insider perspective with other advocates. Click here to enjoy Joanne's entertaining and effective "Handy Hints for Lobbyists" that she put together for the ADS Advisory Council members who participated in this year's Senior Lobby Day in Olympia.
"Now that the legislative session in our State is over, it's a great time to get in touch with your legislator," says Joanne. "They have more time, and are not as stressed. It's also a great time to thank them for their support." Joanne suggests inviting them to events in your community and establishing a relationship. She says that it is important to remember that politicians are human beings, and most of them really are nice people.