The senior population of Washington State has jumped 30% since 2000, with more than 850,000 people over the age of 65 now calling Washington home. The state?s Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) is providing for this growing segment by offering a wide array of programs to ensure that seniors remain healthy and get the services they need.
Those programs include:
-- Adult Abuse and Prevention: A hotline (866-EndHarm) to call if a senior is being abused or neglected.
-- Adult Day Care: For seniors who need some level of care during the day, but not for serious medical conditions.
-- Adult Day Health: For seniors who do indeed need skilled nursing care.
-- Companion Services: Routine visits and phone calls for those who are unable to leave their houses.
-- Congregate Meals: Meals served in a group setting at a community or senior center.
-- Home Delivered Meals: Food delivered directly to the home.
-- Home Modification: Helping to make homes safer for seniors, such as adding ramps, grab bars in bathrooms or widening doorways to accommodate a wheelchair.
-- Prescription Drugs: Education and discount card programs for eligible seniors.
-- Respite Care: Taking temporary care of a senior so that person’s caregiver can have a break.
-- Transportation: Services for people who can no longer drive their own cars.
In addition to all the services Washington offers, seniors should also consider buying a medical alert system. It is a necessity for people who live alone. It provides the peace of mind that if a medical emergency does happen, help is just the press of a button away.
Technology is keeping up with the increasingly active lives of seniors. Some medical alert providers offer mobile systems that go with you wherever you travel. The small unit is packed with GPS and cellular technology that can pinpoint where you are and send help right to you if something happens while you are away from home.
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Nearly 4,000 seniors who live in King County (which encompasses Seattle) fall every year. Many of these falls are fatal; if not, they can lead to problems that can substantially shorten lives. The state offers several programs to prevent these tragic falls.
One of them is called HomeStretch. It is a home-based exercise program for adults with chronic diseases designed to keep them more active, so they can be stronger and perhaps avoid falls. There are also walking events and other low-impact exercise programs. Medical experts say the less frail you are, the less likely you are to suffer a serious fall.
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Medical Alert Systems > Washington Medical Alert Systems and Senior Resources in Washington