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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome back to answers for elders radio. Everyone, we are here with a very special guest, a lady by the name of Cathy night, and she is the division director for the city of Seattle aging and disability services. Is this? Is that right, Cathy? That is correct, my division within the Human Services Department. That’s awesome, and you guys actually have, I just can’t even believe all the resources that Seattle King County has for family caregivers. And we’re all about caregivers for the month of March and this and you know, I said at the beginning of the program that it’s St Patrick’s Day and we need some luck. You know what you are good luck charmed today, Cathy, because really I am looking at you know so many things that if I were a caregiver, still a caregiver, I would be on your website and I would be calling your number so many times during of course of a month it would be crazy. And so, you know, you hear a little bit to talk about your services. So why don’t you just give us an overview a little bit about what you do? Well, you mentioned, you know, we mentioned that I’m housed within the city of Seattle but we do serve King County and that’s because aging and disability services is also designated as an area agency on Aging. That’s a federal designation comes out of the older Americans act, which was passed in one thousand nine hundred and sixty five. So airy agencies, we call ourselves the other Aaas were true. Yeah, and we’ve been around since the mid S. So we are responsible for planning for and contracting for services to support older adults throughout King County. HMM. So I it’s a little confusing for people when they hear I’m with the city because we we are a partnership. It’s the Seattle King County Area Agency on Aging. Well, and and you know that’s really important too, because how many of us? You know, mom might live in Bellevue and I might live in Linnwood or something like that. So we don’t live just, you know, next door to each other. So to be able to have some sort of a resource, and you handled primarily seniors in Greater King County, then pretty much yes. But the good thing to know is caregiver services are throughout the state of Washington, through all of the we have thirteen area agencies on aging in the state. They serve every county and we all have family caregiver support services. And if you’re even in another state, you know, we also have a national resource and elder care locator that helps people find out, say, if they’re in Ohio and I want to know, Gosh, my mom’s and Bellingham and what’s available for her there, we even have a national network to help. We want to try to help people. It’s a little difficult when you’re in government services. You don’t have big marketing budgets. So people are saying, I don’t know where to go for information, but we’re we are out there and I’m glad you found us because we want more people to know about our services. Well, we absolutely are. You know, I am committed to finding whatever resources we can for families today. You know, with Tenzero people per day in this country, two thousand and sixty five, a lot of those that are turning sixty five have eighty five ninety year old parents. Absolutely, and so we’re not only dealing with a senior loved one that is, you know what, the end of their lives and certainly navigating senior care, but we got to start looking at ourselves to I was just having a conversation with chuck homestead right before and we were talking about, you know, our own living situations and he’s looking at doing a little bit of remodeling in his house and he’s going, you know, with all these conversations going on in you know, answers for elders, I realize I got to do this now, and it’s like this is it. It’s it’s starting to understand that there’s kind kind of this. You know, I always say it’s the two, it’s the three Prong Stuel. You know, it’s aging is part of it, but part the one prong is this. The second prong is the senior themselves and their lifestyle, and then there’s that caregiver. It’s a family member that is really, you know, on the front line taking care of a loved one. So, yeah, we’re in a unique place in history with people living so much longer. We call it that longevity bonus that we didn’t used to have absolutely and now we have. Well, it’s interesting as we have people who qualify for our services, who have parents who qualify for our services. So that’s unique. With the aging of the boomers, the baby boomers, and we’re seeing, you know, like you said, more and more turning sixty five every day. It’s crazy. I actually found a graph not too long ago from the two thousand and twelve census that projecting the population in the year twenty thirty, which is only like fourteen years from now, boomers are going to be forty percent of the population, or over fifty, over sixty five, will be forty percent of the population. That’s amazing. Is that? I heard that. I heard that on the radio just today. It is I think people we’ve known this was coming. Being in the business, so to speak, I’ve known for a while this was coming, but now everybody else is starting to realize, wait a minute, there’s a lot of US older folks out there, you know, and you would think. And yet so many people, and you know businesses, are totally just in denial about it. And and I, and I see that a lot, you know, I look at for opportunities, obviously because I’m in the industry, and I’ll say something to a business and say, well, we’re not ready for something like this yet, and it’s like Oh, okay, okay, so you might want to get ready. So, Cathie, before we go on, why don’t you give us a little bit about how do we ask who should access your service and and how do we get in contry hold of you? Okay, so we work through when we talk about airy agencies on aging around the state, they have all different names and that’s one of the things that’s confusing for people. They’re like, I don’t know where to go to look for information. So we worked really hard in the state to trademark, I guess, what we call community living connections. Hmm, even that is something that like, why would I go to community living connections? My mom needs some meals on wheels. But that is what we’re trying to get people used to to think about community living connections. However, if you want to call to one, you can get to us because we have a contract with the agency that provides to on one services. That’s general relation and if somebody calls and says they’re looking for information on whether it’s housing or meal meals or nutrition sides or some some kind of transportation or caregiver services, then we can they can help out get the person directed, and so I can give you we have a number that we and we have a great website for community living connections. But folks can call one, eight, four four, three, four, eight, five, four, six four, great and and we will make sure that we repeat that number several times through the program today, because I think it’s important that we understand, you know, the resources out there. So, Caffey, if I’m a caregiver, let’s just say I’m I’m working a full time job. I’m average twenty hours a week. That’s what they say in the care of a loved one. So there’s there’s sixty hours of my week taken up and that’s probably this will probably a lot more than that. And somehow I have to juggle a family. You know, I know to Ti National Statistics are scary about caregivers. According to the National Alliance on caregiving, they say caregivers experience of forty percent job lack us and they are known to be two and a half more times likely to live in poverty and non caregivers. So film me in. How can you help somebody like me if I were that? Well, first of all, you there’s a lot of things in that question that right. Maybe think about. One of the things is how many people even recognize themselves as caregivers? That’s that’s something that we experienced. Point and we were on it. We have a campaign right now. I think there’s a few bus ads that people might have seen where we ask the question do you take your mom to the doctor on a regular basis? You’re a caregiver, because there’s stire’s such a range there and you’re right, you describe people. We have that whole sandwich generation, I know that we talked about years ago, where you’re still working. You may be getting a little bit older, but you’re still working. You have parents to worry about, you might have kids to worry about. They could be young or in college. So you have so many things to balance and there’s a lot of stress associated with that. One of the things we’ve tried to do through our caregiver services, because we’ve learned a lot through research that we’ve been involved with, is catching that person earlier in the journey of being a caregiver so important and helping them see that there are resources that can help them reduce that stress helps them do what we know they want to do. They want to take care of their loved ones if that person is living at home with them. There’s just lots of ways that really small ways that can make a difference in a person’s life, and so we just want to make sure that people understand there are some resources to help them. We are because we are a governmental entity. We do focus on people who are at the lower end of the income range. You know, we but we can always help identify resources out there for folks who can pay and pay for, you know, full services. But yeah, the first thing we do is if somebody called and we got the sense that they were dealing with care what we call caregiver issues, then we have a whole process that we go through, because another thing we learned years ago we started in the state with a very small what we called rest. But so what do you think of when when you hear the word rest? But rest, rest, yes, it’s like a break, it’s like I need a few hours off, I want to go have lunch with my friends, I need to go get my hair done, I whatever it is, you know, and it could be a full day. But we started off with our family caregiver support program and we thought, well, this is what people need. They need rest. But so for a long time that was really the s of us. That was primarily available. When I used to do I used to when I was a caregiver for my mom, and I use that in parentheses, because she didn’t, I didn’t live with her, she was in assisted living and she was in and the more care that she needed, in, you know, skilled care, the less that my involvement was necessary, except for emotional supporting. But that’s a huge piece of it and I know there’s two things that I can say to you about that. Number one, I remember so often saying if I could just go to lunch, if I could just go things. So one of the things that I say, I talked about in my book, as I say, ask your friends for one thing. If your friends are saying, what can I do to help you bring joy to my life, that’s what I say, you know, even if sometimes just pick up the phone to, you know, make me laugh, you know, bring levity to my life. You know, it’s great. It’s like that is such a big piece because it can be overwhelming. And you’re talking about getting caregivers early part in their in their understanding of that, set up that support network. HMM. So that’s important. So, Cathy, would you stay with us for another segment? Sure, I would love to have you. We are talking to Cathy night from aging and disability service and will be right back
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.