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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

WA joins age, dementia-friendly networks

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Monday, June 24, 2024   

Washington has received designations highlighting the state's efforts to become more age and dementia-friendly.

Washington is the 12th state to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

Susan Engels, Unit on Aging office chief for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, said the designation builds on work the state is already doing to support people of all ages.

"Age-friendly communities consider goals that promote high quality of life for each person regardless of their age, allowing older people the opportunity to remain active in their community," Engels pointed out. "The designation begins a book of work that we're very excited to do."

Some cities in the state have already joined the AARP network, such as Puyallup, Renton, Seattle, Tacoma and White Salmon. Some of the goals for age-friendly communities include ensuring people can age in place and building walkable communities to ensure people can maintain both their independence and connection with others.

Washington is also joining U.S. Aging's Dementia-Friendly America network. Engels noted the state is already supporting people with dementia.

"Developing more community opportunities for families living with dementia," Engels explained. "Things like zoo walks and cafes where people can come and not worry about being judged if their loved one behaves differently."

Family caregiving is another important area as the population ages. According to AARP's statistics, the ratio of family caregivers per adult over 80 available in Washington will decline from about 4.5 to 1 in 2030 to less than 3 to 1 in 2050.

Engels added the state has support in caregiving as well, such as through respite and counseling to help people maintain the sometimes difficult roles.

"We have innovative programs, both state funded and federally funded, where we are able to support family caregivers regardless of income levels," Engels stressed. "With services that help those family caregivers be able to maintain their role."

Disclosure: AARP Washington contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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