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Meeting the needs of Federal Way seniors | Slideshow

On Wednesday, local volunteer Curt Beech helps a guest at the Federal Way Senior Center walk out the door. Beech will drive the woman, and two more seniors, back to their adult family home in Auburn. He also brought them to the center a few hours before. - Andy Hobbs/The Mirror
On Wednesday, local volunteer Curt Beech helps a guest at the Federal Way Senior Center walk out the door. Beech will drive the woman, and two more seniors, back to their adult family home in Auburn. He also brought them to the center a few hours before.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

What are the most important needs of Federal Way’s seniors, and how can the city meet those needs?

The Federal Way Diversity Commission sought more information at its second Senior Forum on Nov. 17 at the Federal Way Senior Center. The informal forum took place over a relaxed lunch. (See a photo slideshow from the forum.)

At its core, the Diversity Commission works to ensure all voices are represented in Federal Way, especially when dealing with municipal policies and services.

Wednesday’s forum at the senior center was intended learn more from a sizable segment of the city’s population — senior citizens.

“Diversity is not just about ethnicity and gender,” said Bob Danielle, vice-chairman of the commission. “Diversity is really about perception... It's also about changing thought and thinking and how things are done.”

The commission asked guests to rank, on a scale of one to five, the importance of senior-related issues such as housing, transportation, isolation, nutrition, medical care, finances and independent living. The questionnaire also asked what services seniors found useful — and what services they need but cannot find.

Among the survey participants was Lee MacKenzie, 88. Three days a week, the Federal Way woman takes the Access bus to the senior center at 4016 S. 352nd St., Auburn, to have lunch and play pinochle. She welcomes any changes that ease her commute by bus to the senior center. Also, she’d like to play more games of bridge.

Kid coincidence

In a coincidence, 28 students from Thomas Jefferson High School were visiting seniors at the same time as the Diversity Commission. The students were working on a documentary as part of a year-long integrated teaching project. On Wednesday, graphic design teacher Ed Crossan brought students from his class, along with Spanish and history classes, to interview the seniors about global food issues. The project will culminate with a documentary in January, and students will follow up when the senior center’s community garden is in full bloom.

On that note, Mike Stanley, who heads the senior center’s community garden, joined Jim and Donna Cox of the Light of Christ Community Garden to share a few words of wisdom about their gardens. Both gardens aim to stock local food pantry shelves and feed people in need.

Linda Dalenbert, the senior center’s activity coordinator, was all smiles as she helped serve the guests a Filipino-style lunch of chicken and pork adobo.

“When you have all these kids around, it revitalizes you,” she said. “You can see the hope of the future in these kids’ faces.”

Learn more

To learn more about the Federal Way Senior Center and community garden, visit www.federalwayseniorcenter.org or call (253) 838-3604. To learn more about the Federal Way Diversity Commission, call (253) 835-2401.

SLIDESHOW

Click here to view photos from the Nov. 17 gathering at the Federal Way Senior Center.

 

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