For many elders, especially those who are low-income or face language barriers, access to exercise classes is often low, even as movement is vital to aging health. But the International Community Health Services (ICHS) has a counter to these issues: its “Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance” program has been running since winter of 2020, and recently has been made available in-person to the community as well as virtually.
Though Washington State will be getting more doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as well as specialized syringes that will be able to coax out one extra dose from every vial of Pfizer vaccine, the good news Gov. Jay Inslee shared during his press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 26 was somewhat overshadowed by the arrival of the significantly more contagious novel coronavirus variant in the state, the discovery of which was officially announced this past weekend in a Department of Health press release.
Seattle’s older adults living in supportive housing will be the next in line for vaccinations against the novel coronavirus offered by the City’s mobile vaccine clinics, the Office of the Mayor announced in a press release on Jan. 22. This newest mobile vaccination effort began on Jan. 21 and includes older adults who had formerly experienced homelessness and who now receive wraparound case management services, as well as older, low-income adults living in affordable housing.
King County Metro bus operator Sam Smith is worried about job security. Already, he said, Metro had to cut 200 part-time driver jobs in August, as a cost-saving measure, due to the economic fallout of the current novel coronavirus pandemic. In September, Metro reduced bus service by 15%. If Proposition 1 — which would continue a portion of public transit funding for the next five years — doesn’t pass, Smith thinks his job is likely on the chopping block. He also worries about the effect a lack of funding will have on the wider public.
“Cuts in transit right now are counter-productive. Routes that run in heavily populated areas such as the A Line, E Line, and the 7 which serves South Seattle are packed at capacity,” Smith said in an emailed statement to the Emerald.
In an effort to prevent these cuts, the Transit Riders Union (TRU) will be holding a Day of Action on Oct. 6, which is meant to frame public transportation as a mutual aid effort and make the case for voters to pass Proposition 1 in November. The TRU will also join national transit riders unions across the country that day in calling for the United States Congress to pass the HEROES Act, which includes $32 billion in emergency transit funds.
Shiny, blushed coral apples sit in rows on the tables in front of brown paper bags. Lined up almost perfectly straight, one right next to the other, they almost look like little cherubs, dutifully waiting their turn to leap into a bank of puffy clouds.
But they aren’t mythical creatures. They’re vital sources of nutrition for the more than 160 seniors who rely on the Southeast Seattle Senior Center’s hot meal program. On this particular Thursday morning, a handful of masked volunteers works to prepare the day’s meal, a steaming-hot, colorful mix of vegetables cooked with golden cubes of fried tofu served over a couple scoops of white rice.
As a senior on disability, Laura Hale lives on exactly $971 per month, not counting the $182 per month she receives in food stamps.
The 65-year-old Hale lives in the basement of her son’s house, a few blocks away from the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, where she regularly plays bingo on Wednesdays. Like many seniors who live on fixed income, such as disability payments or Social Security, Hale cannot independently afford to live in the area anymore, thanks to increasing costs of living, as developers move in. And like many seniors, Hale is on several city housing waiting lists that are literally thousands of names and several years long.