‘What challenges do you think you’ll have as you get older?’

That’s the question the city hopes you will answer, whatever your age, via a new survey. It was sent to WSB by Irene Stewart, the longtime West Seattle community advocate who works in aging and disability services for the city Human Services Department:

Will you be able to live independently in your current home or a home of your choice? How do you prefer to get information about services and community resources? Aging and Disability Services — the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle & King County — wants to know! You can help by taking the community survey at surveymonkey.com/r/V5WKDF8. This survey is for adults (age 18+), not just older adults or others who already use their services. Share the link with family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues of all backgrounds. The survey is available until the end of July. For alternative formats or other languages, e-mail aginginfo@seattle.gov.

10 Replies to "'What challenges do you think you'll have as you get older?'"

  • West Seattle Hipster July 11, 2018 (11:59 am)

    Being taxed out of my home by city “leadership” is my main concern as I grow older.

    • Dede July 11, 2018 (7:26 pm)

      I recently received a foreclosure notice for our home. I called the King County Tax department and talked to a very nice person who helped me solve the problem. She sent me forms  to fill out which contained a long list of required items.I’m still gathering documents. Some requirements:Someone in the house must be over 61, someone disabled, and your income must be under $40,000. Also, if you are old enough you become exempt from property taxes. I’m 73 so that was rocking good news.Good luck. 

  • Swede. July 11, 2018 (2:40 pm)

    Staying in ‘my’ home won’t be a problem, since buying one haven’t been possible for many years. As a blue collar worker I’ve ‘enjoyed’ pay ‘raises’ less than inflation but home prices increased several hundred percent in this region. 

  • flimflam July 11, 2018 (4:23 pm)

    paying property taxes….

  • ST made me homeless in Seattle July 11, 2018 (7:20 pm)

    ST light rail forcing me out of my home will be what prevents me from aging at home in Seattle.

  • michael germundson July 11, 2018 (9:41 pm)

    Taxed out of my home.

  • chemist July 11, 2018 (9:41 pm)

    Our family homestead was built into one of the steep slope hills of West Seattle such that it’s two flights of stairs to get out of the house/into the garage and about 5 ft of steeper inclined paved surface to get beyond that to a street/alley.  It was fine when the grandparents were younger, but another 50 years of life in the home and mobility issues made those stairs and inclined areas treacherous for 90 year olds.Not every home needs to be a ranch-style home, but the two downsizing into a 3 story townhome or some of the frequent-transit-accessible apartments that have lofted sleeping space isn’t exactly something I could have seen my relative doing after becoming a widow.Walkers and folding wheelchairs were being deployed in the garage for a few years before assisted living became necessary.  I think even frequent transit service-no parking buildings might be better for the elderly with a few accessible parking spaces in a garage.  Slowly doing all those maneuvers from on-street spaces would be more “eyes on” than my grandmother would have wanted.

  • Jeannie July 12, 2018 (3:48 am)

    Not a local issue, but I worry most about tRump’s disgraceful, un-American attempts to dismantle Social Security and Medicaid. And, yes, property taxes, increased congestion, and loss of safe, pleasant, walkable neighborhoods.

  • DB July 12, 2018 (8:31 am)

    Affordability, not only property taxes but utilities, transportation, etc.Crime, property and personal assault. I feel the crime rate is on the rise and police do less and less about it. I know their response time has gone way up. If they don’t see something happening themselves they turn a blind eye. Over crowding and congestion and getting around. I don’t like taking the bus anymore because everytime I do for daytime errands there is always someone on the bus that causes some kind of commotion like a drunk or high or mentally ill person going off.  And driving and parking around West Seattle in a the next 10 years is going to be hell with no mass transit and all this building going on. It already gets that way in the Alaska Jxn area. 

  • anonyme July 12, 2018 (9:44 am)

    As DB pointed out, property taxes are an affordability issue – but not the only one.  Utilities, transportation, food, and medical costs all rise continually; Social Security benefits do not, and COLA increases are not based on the real life expenses of seniors.  While that is a Federal issue, not a local one, the lives of those living here are impacted.  I would say poverty is my biggest fear with aging.  I know that I am not alone in admitting I have an ‘exit’ strategy should I be forced out of my home – which is inevitable, at some point.  Suicide rates among those over 65 have skyrocketed, and it ain’t because they miss working.  Many are being forced into the equivalent of senior ghettos, to be warehoused until death.  Boomers have been blamed for not saving enough, when the reality is that the world has done a 360 that none of us could have predicted or prepared for, especially given the stagnation of wages since the late 70’s.  Either that, or our savings were gutted by Wall Street, much to the benefit of the same folks who now blame the victims.Transportation is an issue.  With many stops being eliminated, and very few stops at all on Rapid Ride, the distances that many seniors must walk to bus stops is prohibitive.  Some kind of shuttle similar to the Water Taxi might be helpful getting people to bus hubs.  The current Metro van is way too time consuming and inefficient.  Not every errand can be planned and scheduled as an all day event, nor is such a van necessary in every case.  It’s just that many of us can no longer walk 6 blocks to catch a bus, even though we’re still active.But one of the most difficult aspects of aging is the lack of respect, especially for older women.  I noticed in my fifties that I began to become invisible.  In some ways, that was cool; I hate being hounded in stores.  A year ago I let my hair go gray, and the difference in the way I was treated was dramatic.  It goes beyond invisibility, and well into contempt.  I’m frequently treated as if I’m too stupid to tie my own shoelaces by millennials who seem irritated at my very existence.  Ironic, given that my IQ in many cases is double theirs, and my tongue still far sharper than their dull wits can comprehend.  However, as a woman who has fought sexism for many decades, I was hoping to live out the rest of my life with a little peace, quiet – and respect.  A reprieve from activism.  That doesn’t appear to be a possibility, and the mounting feeling of powerlessness is frustrating and frightening. To summarize, while I don’t think government can be expected to solve all the issues of aging, there are reasonable accommodations that can be made.  Improved transportation options, assistance with aging in place and keeping our homes, and innovative transportation choices would be of benefit.  I would also add dental and vision care (including glasses) which Medicare does not provide.  The programs that ostensibly provide such services are in fact very limited in scope.  I would also add that access to free or very affordable fitness classes, such as yoga and tai chi/chi gong would be awesome.  The options currently available are inadequate to meet a growing need.

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