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Council On Aging needs volunteers to help improve lives for seniors, people with disabilities

 

August 17, 2017



Aime Fink said officials are calling the coming wave of senior citizens “The Silver Tsunami.” That’s because, over the next decade or so, Snohomish County will be home to more seniors than ever before who are age 85 and up.

And the baby boomer generation is quickly swelling the senior citizen ranks nationwide with 10,000 retiring every day.

Fink, supervisor of Snohomish County’s Long Term Care & Aging Program, said the agency is busy addressing the needs of that growing wave of older residents, but they need help.

There are at least six and perhaps will be as many as 11 openings for volunteers on the Snohomish County Council on Aging.

The 30-member citizens advisory board meets once a month to focus on the myriad issues seniors and younger residents with disabilities face in Snohomish County.

Unlike many boards that provide support to an organization’s staff, voting on budgets, hearing updates and similar duties, the Council on Aging (COA) is proactive, Fink said.

COA members serve as community representatives, planners for funding and program issues, activists for advocacy matters, and monitors of program quality and services.

Besides the monthly board meetings, members join subcommittees that focus on various issues of particular interest.

“Council members can engage at any level,” she said. “It depends on where your interest lies.”

Among the subcommittees are an advocacy group that reaches out to the community to advance and educate about senior issues; another is a legislative panel that lobbies local, state and federal electeds and agencies; a third focuses on healthy aging issues, such as nutritional eating and other healthy lifestyle habits.

A main goal, Fink said, is to help our senior population remain independent, including aging in place.

COA members come from all walks of life. Some, of course, are retired, but others work full time. Among them are hospital administrators, attorneys, educators and other members of the general public who are interested in improving the quality of life for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Fink said they’re interested in attracting a diverse range of volunteers to ensure that the needs of all seniors and disabled residents are addressed. That includes different racial and ethnic groups, LGBT representatives, bi- and multi-lingual speakers, disabled citizens and more.

Applications are being accepted now. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Applications are available by calling 425-388-7317, emailing Linda Vizmanos at Linda.vizmanos@snoco.org or online at https://snohomishcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/45601.

Volunteers serve three-year terms. The regular COA meetings are held from 10 a.m. to noon on the fourth Wednesday of each month, except November, when the meeting is one week earlier, and December, when no meeting is held. Subcommittee meetings are held at other, agreed upon times. The meetings are held at Compass Health Administrative Offices, 4526 Federal Ave., Everett.

 

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