Spring/Summer 2012


Welcome to the inaugural online edition of Spotlight newsletter! We are still working out some technical bugs, but wanted to get the ball rolling in the new format. Please help us spread the word about the newsletter by forwarding this e-mail to friends and acquaintances and asking them to subscribe. To subscribe (or unsubscribe), please contact David Takami, Seattle Human Services Department, david.takami@seattle.gov or 206-684-0253. A limited number of hard copy versions of Spotlight will be mailed to people without computer access.

Countering the inevitable effects of time


Seniors recreationIt isn't news to any of us that changes occur in the body as time marches on. We can see and feel the changes as the years go by in weight, muscle mass, energy, stamina, and overall body strength. There are a multitude of scientific studies on countering the effects of aging, and evolving evidence-based information that many scientists believe, if put into practice, can "turn back the clock" on aging bodies and help us to lead healthier, more productive lives into our nineties and beyond. In the not so distant future, many anti-aging specialists predict a time when people will commonly live to be 130 years of age.


It's fascinating to imagine such a future, but in the meantime, there are things we can do now to extend our lives, get stronger and feel better. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), both physical activity and exercise are critically important to healthy aging. Physical activity like gardening, walking the dog, dancing, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator are changes in our level of daily physical activity that can make positive changes in both our physical and mental health. Exercise is planned activity, e.g., swimming laps, weight training, water aerobics, yoga or tai chi classes.


The NIA identifies three keys to success in setting fitness goals: 

  • Include physical activity in your everyday life
  • Try four types of exercise: endurance, strength, flexibility and balance
  • Plan for breaks in your routine; interruptions will occur, but be prepared to start again

Several of my friends have needed hip replacements, knee replacements, surgeries for torn rotator cuffs, treatment for cancer and more. A few of us got together recently and had serious discussions about where we go from here. We enjoy our lives, spending time with our adult children and our grandchildren.


We probably won't make it to 130 - but perhaps they will. In the meantime, we have pledged to do all that we can to maintain our health for as long as we can, and to find ways to make activity and exercise fun again. We have a friendly competition to see how much weight we can lose, and weigh in together each week. We hold each other accountable, and look forward to getting together on Saturday mornings to catch up on the week's activities, weigh in, bring healthy food to share, and take long walks together. We all do different things during the week to exercise and stay active. We are just getting started - but our buddy system is keeping us motivated.


by Rowena Rye

Resources for a healthier life after 50


National Institute on Aging - One of several of the National Institutes of Health, the NIA is the leader in Aging Research. The NIA has a variety of resources on numerous topics related to health on its Web site. If you are not online, call 1-800-222-2225.


Go4Life - a Web site of the NIA with tools for developing and saving your personal exercise plans, logs, and other physical activity records. A free exercise guide and video are available.


Lifelong Recreation, Seattle Parks Department, Sound Steps - Sound Steps is a volunteer-supported walking program with Seattle Parks and Recreation's Lifelong Recreation. This program is designed to get adults age 50+ moving and gaining the health benefits of regular exercise. Sound Steps offers weekly walking groups, monthly hikes, and a training program to participate in a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon Walk event. Go to the Web site for more information, or call 206-684-4664, or e-mail sound.steps@seattle.gov. 


Shape Up King County - This is a quick and easy guide to locate exercise and activities resources by type and zip code, and get fitness tips. The Web site is a collaboration among Seattle Human Services Department's Aging & Disability Services, Public Health - Seattle & King County, Senior Services of Seattle/King County, the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center, the Healthy Aging Partnership, and the Comprehensive Health Education Foundation. Not online? Call 206-448-3110.

The ABCs of social media


Social NetworksTwitter. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. These are examples of social media that have changed the way we communicate.


What is social media?
Social media is a category of online media that enables people to communicate, participate, share, network, and bookmark favorite links. Most social media services encourage discussion, feedback, and sharing of information from all interested parties.

It's more of a two-way conversation, rather than a traditional one-way medium such as a newspaper or TV program.  Another unique aspect of social media is the idea of staying connected or linked to other sites, resources, and people. Part of the enormous appeal of social media is that it's fun. Social media allow you to easily share your ideas, photos, videos, likes and dislikes, with friends and the world at large.


Types of social media
Many social media sites come in the form of a blog, microblog, podcast, videocast, forum, "wiki," or some kind of content community. There are four basic groups:

  • Social news: Sites like  Digg, MarketingLand, Newsvine, and BallHype let you read about news topics and then vote and/or comment on the articles. Articles with more votes get promoted to a more prominent positions.
  • Social sharing: Sites like Flickr, Snapfish, and YouTube let you create, upload, and share videos or photos with others.
  • Social networks: Sites like Facebook,  LinkedIn,  MySpace, and  Twitter allow you to find and link to other people. Once linked or connected, you can keep up to date with that person's contact info, interests, posts, etc. Many people are re-connecting with friends and business associates from the past.
  • Social bookmarking: Sites like Delicious, Faves, StumbleUpon, BlogMarks and Diigo allow you to find and bookmark sites and information of interest. You can access the sites from anywhere or share them with others.

This is just a sampling of social media sites. Have fun exploring these and other sites, and communicating in new and different ways.


by Joan Uzelak

The 'hidden job market' - is it real?


Senior job program brochureThere is no hidden job market, let alone a secret list of jobs, but it is true that between 60% and 80% of all jobs are never advertised.

Some jobs are filled internally and never posted. Some jobs will go to people who know how to network and find a way inside; and some jobs go to candidates smart enough to bring themselves to the hiring manager's attention before the job is advertised.

There is nothing magic or lucky about finding unadvertised jobs. You must have a good idea of what companies you want to work for and then know how to network effectively - including knowing when to volunteer, how to find common ground with others, and how to approach people for help finding work. You can get help with all of this at the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens (MOSC).

If you are 55 years old or older and seeking work, you probably already know how tough it has been these past few years. Indeed, it is a job just to find jobs for which you can apply! That's one reason why the MOSC's 55+ Employment Resource Center began sending a weekly list of age-appropriate jobs to our entire database of registered older job seekers.

MOSC-ERC also offers one-on-one employment and resume consultations and presents specialized monthly workshops and seminars that address issues specific to the challenges of being an older worker.

To register with MOSC-ERC please contact either paul.valenti@seattle.gov or joan.uzelak@seattle.gov or call 206-684-0500.  You can also register online.


by Paul Valenti

Beyond Google: helpful resources at the click of the mouse


seniors at computersGoogle may be the most popular way to search the World Wide Web, but it can crawl right past some real gems. Advertising and corporate sponsorship can affect the search results you get from a commercial search engine, while going directly to a government and nonprofit Web site can allow you to find resources that might be missed from doing a traditional search.


Here are just a few of these invaluable online resources.

  • Need information on local social services? The Community Information Line - also accessible by telephone by dialing 2-1-1 - has a comprehensive online database with details on costs, hours and eligibility criteria.
  • Taking the bus? Metro offers their personalized trip planning online.  You will get detailed information on what bus to take, when and where to board and transfer, and how much the standard and senior fares would be.
  • Do you want to apply for statewide (such as food stamps and Medicaid) and local benefit programs (such as the City of Seattle utility discount) all in one place? Check out  Washington Connection.
  • Are you helping someone with a disability or chronic health condition, or need help yourself? Start with the state Aging and Disability Services administration Web site. There are resources for self-care, listings of assisted living homes, and information on becoming a paid caregiver. If you have time for more reading, the National Caregiving Alliance has a multitude of free publications. The National Institute on Aging features an A to Z listing of health issues common in older adults.
  • What about finding affordable housing and legal help? Try Housing Search Northwest and www.aptfinder.org for low-cost housing; and Washington Law Help for information on a multitude of legal topics and public benefits.

Surfing the Web has just become a little more exciting.


by Alain Rhone

Help with your utility bills


The economy appears to be making a slow recovery, yet there are many people in our community who still feel the pinch and could use help paying their utility bills. The Seattle Human Services Department manages a rate assistance program for the city that provides emergency assistance with electricity, heat and water bills. Help is available but many who qualify don't take advantage of the program.


We want to spread the word: If you can use utility assistance, or know a family who can, please get information at this Web site, or by calling 206-684-0268, or by e-mailing UDP@seattle.gov.


Another program, City Light's Project Share, offers one-time emergency assistance with electric bills. Many of our customer generously support this fund and we thank you. Make a one-time contribution or add an amount to your regular bill.  Whether receiving or giving, get the details on Project Share at this Web site  or by calling 206-684-3000.


by Seattle City Light

How to stay cool and safe in hot weather


When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illnesses rises. People's bodies are not able to cool themselves quickly enough, and they overheat. In severe instances, people can suffer heat stroke, which can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.


Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk for heat-related illness. But even young and healthy individuals can suffer in heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.

You can protect yourself and loved ones against very hot temperatures by following these recommendations:

Stay cool

  • Drink liquids
  • Limit the time you're in direct sunlight
  • Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy
  • Use sunscreen if you go outside
For more information, please visit this Web site.


Reprinted with permission from Public Health - Seattle & King County

How to treat and prevent hypothermia


If you are swimming this summer or exposed to cold water, be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Hypothermia is a condition in which a person's body temperature has dropped significantly below normal. This occurs from inadequate protection against exposure to cold temperatures. The very young and elderly are the most susceptible to developing hypothermia when exposed to cold temperatures.


The risk and extent of hypothermia is directly influenced by presence of wet clothing, contact with metals, wind-chill, and extent of temperature gradient between the body and its surroundings. Vulnerability is increased when circulation is impaired by cardiovascular disease, alcohol intake, exhaustion, and/or hunger.


For a list of symptoms, treatment and prevention ideas please visit this Web site.


Reprinted with permission from Public Health - Seattle & King County

World's Fair Employee Reunion Picnic


If you worked at World's Fair 50 years ago, you are invited to the World's Fair Employee Reunion Picnic, on June 30, 2012 at 2 p.m. in the Playhouse / Intiman.


Seattle Center Foundation is leading the six-month celebration of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair 50th anniversary, called Next 50, and it is reaching out to individuals who contributed to the extraordinary success of the Fair to invite them to a Next 50 celebration and reunion of World's Fair employees. What stories will be told as the workers reassemble at Seattle Center. If you worked at the fair, please come and share your memories with your fellow former World's Fair workers. For more information and to register for the reunion, please call or e-mail Cathy Sander at Seattle Center Foundation, 206 684-0299 or csander@seattlecenter.org.

Upcoming Events: Summer 2012


Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens   


Downtown Coffee Hours - June, July & August

  • Thursday, June 21: Waterfront Seattle: The SeaWall Project, Jennifer Wieland, Seattle Department of Transportation Project Manager and Nathan Torgelson, Policy and Development Manager, Seattle Parks Department; Central Building, 810 3rd Ave., Seattle 98104, 4th floor
  • Thursday, July 19: Scams that Target Identity Theft, Jean Mathisen, Project Director, AARP Washington Fraud Fighter Call Center; Central Building, 810 3rd Ave., Seattle 98104, 4th floor
  • Thursday, August 16: Guest Speaker: Robert Nellams, director of the Seattle Center; Central Builidng.

Community Lunch Hour at the Senior Center of West Seattle - July 

  • Thursday, July 26: Another opportunity to learn about Scams that Target Identity Theft, Jean Mathisen, Project Director, AARP Washington Fraud Fighter Call Center, Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St, Seattle 98116. 

Employment Resource Center 55+ Program Job Search Workshops 

  • Wednesday, June 3: Renton Worksource, Final Older job Seekers Job Search Meeting
  • Wednesday, June 24: Pike Market Senior Center, 85 Pike St, Seattle 98101
  • Wednesday, July 11: MOSC Job Search Workshop - Presenter: Eddie Maiava Jr. Diversity Outreach Coordinator, Human Resource Services Division, Employment Security Department, 810 3rd Ave., Seattle 98104, 4th floor
  • Wednesday, August 8: MOSC Job Search Workshop
  • Friday August 31: Greenbridge Job Fair from 9 a.m. to noon

More Events 

  • Rummage Sale, Ballard Northwest Senior Center, 5429 32nd NW, Seattle, WA 98107, Friday June 8, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday June 9, 9 a.m.-3 p.m,
  • Green Tea Club, Tuesday, June 12 at 12:30 p.m. Come enjoy delicious traditionally served tea and do origami, Ballard Northwest Senior Center, 5429 32nd NW, Seattle 98107
  • Green Dolphin Lounge Fridays this summer at 6 p.m., June 15, July 20, August 17; live entertainment includes a happy Hour Buffet Menu $10/members/$15 non-members Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave. S., Seattle 98144
  • Rainbow Bingo Summer Safari; Friday, July 20, 6-9:30 p.m.; advance tickets $17 online www.sessc.org , or call Alex at 206.722.0317; tickets are $20 at the door; 12 bingo games, meal included, Southeast Senior Center, 4655 S. Holly St., Seattle 98118
  • Rainbow Bingo, August 3, Dinner at 6 p.m., Bingo starts at 7 p.m. $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Ballard Northwest Senior Center, 5429 32nd NW, Seattle, WA 98107
  • Fall Save the Date! Wine, Chocolate and Art, Thursday, September 27; delicious hors d'oeurves and wine tasting, $20. At Trader Joe's hosted by Ballard Northwest Senior Center, Call 206-297-0403 for additional information.
  • Senior Housing Town Hall Meeting, Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 2 p.m., Senior Center West Seattle - 4217 S.W. Oregon St. RSVP to 206-932-4044 ext. 1. Meet representatives from major retirement and assisted living communities
  • .A Night in Spain, Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 5 p.m. at Senior Center West Seattle. Paella Dinner by Chef Jim Hragu plus Flamenco Dancers! Cost $20 each. Pre-paid reservations. 206-932-4044.
  • Rainbow Bingo with a "Paradise Island" theme, on Friday, August 17, 2012, Senior Center West Seattle 6 p.m. Pre paid donations $10 members/$15 non-members or $5 more at the door. 206-932-4044 ext. 4
  • SEAFAIR Community Events: Click on Seafair for more information about SeaFair events
    Bite of Seattle, July 20-22, More Information: 425-283-5050 or Comcast Bite of Seattle 
  • Bumbershoot, September 1 thru 3. See this link for music lineup and admission fee








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Dannette R. Smith, Director

HSD's mission is to connect people with resources and solutions during times of need so we can all live, learn, work and take part in strong, healthy communities. For more timely or breaking news, visit our blog, Human Interests, or visit our Web site.