Courtesy photo
Members of the Senior Advisory Commission at the State of the City address in Feb. 2020.

Courtesy photo Members of the Senior Advisory Commission at the State of the City address in Feb. 2020.

Commission puts Federal Way seniors first

Nearing the one-year anniversary of the Senior Resource Guide for local senior citizens, an advisory commission is looking to tailor their work to the needs of the Federal Way community.

The Federal Way Senior Advisory Commission was formed in Sept. 2019 with the goal to help older residents of Federal Way live and age with dignity, said Commission Chair Debbie Harvey.

Despite a sizeable senior population in the city, there was a lack of direct resource networks for older adults in the area, she said.

“We didn’t have a group, per se, that put the seniors at the forefront,” Harvey said. “Our goal is to be a resource for the seniors here in Federal Way, and look at what we as a city can do to provide them assistance, information, a path to go forward.”

The Senior Advisory Commission aims to help improve and enrich the health and well being of senior citizens’ quality of life; make safe and affordable recommendations for the seniors to age in their homes; create partnerships with affordable and reliable transportation services; educate and communicate programs and services available to seniors; and more.

In Aug. 2020, the nine-member commission published a comprehensive pamphlet — the Senior Resource Guide for Greater Federal Way — featuring various resources in Federal Way and immediate surrounding areas.

The guide provides information on local advocacy agencies or where to file complaints, along with chemical dependency resources, computer help, education and financial planning, a list of restaurant discounts for seniors, transportation service information and much more.

Forming just before the pandemic hit, the commission was able to research and gather more than 100 resource contacts as well as create, print and distribute their resource guide. Then, the commission focused on determining how to reach seniors and finding out what they need amid such an uncertain time.

Senior citizens want to know how to stay healthy, how to contribute to society, and how to stay in their homes longer, Harvey said.

Some people have had long careers prior to retirement, while others opt for only semi-retirement, but all have the ability and experience to contribute to the community, said Vice Chair Lana Bostic.

The month of May was also recognized as Older Americans Month by the Federal Way City Council and mayor at the May 18 meeting. The proclamation acknowledges older Americans as being a vital part of the Federal Way community and present in all aspects of society as parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors and coworkers.

“We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by fostering an environment in which our older Americans can lead useful and satisfying lives consistent with their capacities and find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance and services they need,” the proclamation reads in part.

The Federal Way Senior Advisory Commission meets at 2 p.m. every third Wednesday of the month and meetings are open to the public. The commission is also seeking input from local residents about issues they are facing, concerns needing to be addressed, and ways to assist.

For more information, to locate a resource guide, or to offer feedback, contact Jeri-Lynn Clark at 253-835-2401 or email Jeri-Lynn.Clark@cityoffederalway.com.


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