Events and new resources blossom for older adults this spring | Coming of age…again

While we may work out, run, walk or bicycle to exercise and stay “fit,” exercising our brain is a bit more complex.

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020 8:30am
  • Opinion

As adults age, we try to stay healthy in mind and body.

While we may work out, run, walk or bicycle to exercise and stay “fit,” exercising our brain is a bit more complex. To do this successfully, older adults need to stay social — interacting with friends and family, reading, playing games either with people or on a computer or indulging themselves in interesting hobbies or crafts.

Where can Eastside seniors find places to interact, learn and stay physically active? The East King County Resource Guide for Older Adults and their Families is a great start. Recently updated and published by the Kirkland Senior Council, the city of Kirkland and EvergreenHealth, this comprehensive guide covers community resources for seniors, from housing to transportation to medical needs and services. These free guides are available at your local library, community or senior center, online at tinyurl.com/tlrrgy5 or by calling 425-587-3307. Interested seniors or family members can also get a copy by emailing resourceguide@kirklandwa.gov.

Transportation forum

Kirkland’s most popular bus route, Metro Transit’s 255 to and from Seattle, is changing on March 21. The bus will no longer go to downtown Seattle. Riders will disembark at the University of Washington Light Rail Station and will need to use light rail the rest of the way into Seattle. Deleting some routes and adding new routes through Kirkland are changes that will affect bus riders. A transportation forum, sponsored by the Eastside Easy Rider Coalition, the city of Kirkland and Hopelink, to discuss service changes and new options had been scheduled for March 26 at the Peter Kirk Community Center but as of March 6, the center has been closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. There has been no information on whether the event has been rescheduled or when the community center will re-open.

Free anti-fraud fair

Keeping your mind fit also means being aware of potential scams. Consumer Protection Washington (CPW) was scheduled present a free consumer protection awareness fair from 1-3:30 p.m. on April 9 at the Peter Kirk Community Center but as of March 6, the center has been closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. There has been no information on whether the event has been rescheduled.

The event will feature information on charity scams, identity theft, investment fraud and other topics. CPW is a group of local organizations and government agencies dedicated to educating and alerting the public on consumer issues. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn the latest news on scams, how to protect your identity, consumer tips and more. Advanced registration is required by April 2. Call 425-587-3360 to register.

Community resource specialist

The senior council hosted a forum in January concerning the new property tax exemptions, explained by King County assessor John Wilson. Since then, there have been many more local forums on the Eastside discussing the steps needed to qualify for a senior property tax exemption. The next step for residents is to complete the required application for this program or other low-income programs available. A new community resource specialist, Gul Subaykan, is available to help residents fill out the appropriate paperwork or simply find financial assistance programs or other cost-saving services through the county, state or federal government.

Services include help connecting individuals to public benefits for which they may be eligible and support to complete application materials to access benefits. (Examples may include VA benefits, DSHS assistance, public utilities, food assistance, property tax relief, etc.) The specialist can also make direct referrals to other resources for assistance and serve as an advocate for individuals as needed.

This is a free service available by appointment or drop-in from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Peter Kirk Community Center but as of March 6, the center has been closed to the public in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. There has been no information on when the service will resume. For more information, call Subaykan for an appointment at 425-286-1072 or email her at guls@mynorthshore.org.

Make sure you are counted: 2020 Census

The census counts every person living in the United States once and only once.

Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets. After each census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts.

The distribution of $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities is also based on the census data. This money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

The U.S. Census Bureau will not publicly release any personal information that could identify you or your household. By law, responses cannot be used against you. In 2020, you can respond to the census online. It is important for everyone to be counted.

Coming of Age…Again is edited by the Kirkland Senior Council, a group the city of Kirkland created in 2001 to advocate for older adults in our community. The council is made up of people living or working in Kirkland who want to improve and maintain the quality of life for people in Kirkland as they grow older. Membership opens in the Fall.


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