Golden Gala Auction Items Are Live!

Are you ready to ease on down the yellow brick road? Sound Generations 38th Annual Golden Gala is right around the corner, the event will take place on Oct 1st, at 6pm at the Seattle Airport Marriott. But, the auction is open now – and more items are on the way! Click the button below to view the amazing items we have to help support aging adults in King County! If you haven’t registered for the auction yet, use the same link below.

Join Us At The Golden Gala!

We are just three weeks away from hosting our largest annual fundraiser on Saturday, October 1st at the Seattle Airport Marriott! Our Golden Gala is going to be an event you don’t want to miss.  As we celebrate 55 years of existence, we want to make sure you have all the details you need to join us in this celebration whether near or far.  We very much would love to celebrate with you in person but recognize everyone’s comfort level with in-person engagement is different. Your past participation at this event has allowed us to sustain the mission and move the vision forward and we want to continue that tradition.  Participating is as easy as 1-2-3! 

group of diverse attendees at the golden gala
  1. Go to sggala22.givesmart.com and purchase your tickets to attend or sign-up for the online auction 
  2. Can’t attend, make a gift in lieu to show your support 
  3. Want to make a sizeable gift towards Raise the Paddle that we can leverage as a match? Reach out to Brittany Blue, brittanybl@soundgenerations.org and she will assist you in making this happen 
golden gala attendees playing casino games

The pandemic has shown us just how important our work is and that we needed to take greater steps to integrate more diversity equity and inclusion into the fabric of our work to keep up with the growing rich diversity of aging adults.   

Help us Reimaging the Tale of Aging, so we can continue extending lifelines of hope and safety to our aging neighbors. Our robust provision of services allows us to meet them where they are at while helping them focus on their health and well-being so they can live and continue to contribute to society instead of just exist. 

We need you now!  What are you waiting for? Your continued partnership would mean so much to those in need and is as easy as 1-2-3! We hope you choose to participate in some capacity! 

Supporting Older Adults During and After the Pandemic

imager of younger woman with older adult mother walking outside in the fall, both wearing masks

As vaccines and booster shots continue rolling out, the community is readjusting to a new post-pandemic life. Working entirely from home, engaging with others digitally more often than in person, and navigating supportive community resources while still staying socially distant are all among some of the new facets of daily life. Sometimes they present new opportunities, while other times they create new obstacles for barriers. After the last two years of these global major shifts, it seems likely that many of these changes will remain as part of the “new normal.” Recognizing the significant impact on older adults and adults with disabilities is essential to ensuring we are doing all we can to prevent anyone from being left behind.

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the corporate world to shift into partial or full remote work environments. This shift was an adjustment for all, and in some cases, it made work more accessible for adults who might have been struggling to find balance with other outside responsibilities. However, for many working older adults, a transition to digital workspaces presents additional challenges. Adapting to technologies that remote work demands are an obstacle for many older adults. Combine that with the need for reliable internet access at home, it becomes apparent that older adults might find themselves ill-equipped to keep up professionally.

Image of older adult getting tech support from Sound Generations program staff

Seattle is already notorious for its high housing costs, and the pandemic did not slow that down. The market saw homebuyers offering tens of thousands of dollars over asking prices and engaging in heated bidding wars. While 2020 saw a decline in rental rates for apartments, those rates have since started climbing again and are expected to continue. Affordable apartments are few and far between across King County, and this puts many older adults at risk of being unable to obtain or maintain stable housing.

While we have been excited to emerge from the long-term isolation and reform strong community connections, it is also more important now than ever to recognize how the lasting effects of adjusting to the pandemic might create more challenges for older adults and adults with disabilities.  Help us ensure stability for our aging neighbors.

Aging in Place Your Way

asian woman and mother or grandmother enjoying each other's company with smiles

What is aging in place?

The idea of aging in place refers to the desire of many older adults to live out later years in the comfort and familiarity of their own home, without needing to sacrifice their quality of life.

Naturally, aging presents a lot of new obstacles that might not have previously been challenges, such as using the stairs or doing certain routine household tasks. This is when it can be helpful for some to have a little extra support in the form of a caregiver or access to a supportive community. Making some simple adjustments to help make getting around the house a little easier, and bringing in the resource of friendship and socialization at senior centers with peers, activities, and support groups can be a good step toward aging in place positively.

Here are some simple ways to ensure that you or a loved one continue to age in place safely.

Installing railings & grab bars. As mobility and balance changes with aging, having easy-to-grab railings and bars in bathrooms, on stairs, and in other areas of the home can provide easy assistance for an older adult living at home alone.

Making a transportation plan. Sometimes older adults are no longer able to comfortably drive themselves to get from place to place. Having alternative plans like using public transportation or a personalized shuttle service can help aging in place easier by ensuring that you can always get where you need to go.

Having a supported caregiver around to help. Having another person around to help with daily activities like chores, meals, or personal hygiene tasks can be a comfort for someone living alone. Sometimes family members step in to provide this assistance, but we recognize that caregivers often need their own care and support too.

Aging in place your way provides the chance to maintain a comfortable and fulfilling life at home. Sound Generations programs in Minor Home Repair, Transportation Services, and Caregiver Support, are here to help older adults and those who love them in the transition of aging positively in place, whatever that may look like for them.

Celebrating Our Superstar Volunteers

celebrating our superstar volunteers

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, and Sound Generations would like to give a super special shoutout to all the well-rounded and passionate volunteers that have dedicated countless hours in service — bringing smiles and warm greetings at senior centers, Community Dining kitchens, older adults driven to vital appointments or given freshly prepared and delivered meals. These are just a few ways our rock star volunteers have shown up to support our mission of furthering healthy aging in King County! Throughout 2021, Sound Generations saw over 1,000+ volunteers come together in challenging circumstances to uplift those around them through direct service.

Sound Generations volunteers are thoughtful individuals who are always excited to engage with the aging community through shared stories, building friendships and maintaining long-lasting connections along the way.

Take it from superstar volunteer, John Cluff, a receptionist and Board member at Senior Center of West Seattle, who shared this fascinating and insightful quote about what inspires him to volunteer:

“I’ve been thinking. If I really wanted to touch the past, I could have gone to the coast and touched a log on the beach. If I want to touch the present, I merely pet my dog. But what I really wanted to do, especially during the pandemic, is reach out and touch the future (make a difference) so I volunteered, and I am glad I did!”

John Cluff

Thank you for sharing, John, and we hope that your desire to reach out and touch the future inspires others! Check out John’s Senior Center of West Seattle Featured Volunteer Highlight to read more about this amazing individual.

You too can join the volunteer family! As part of our Volunteer Appreciation Month celebration, we will be launching Volunteer Xtravaganza – a virtual celebration of volunteerism through our soundgenerations.org/volunteer website! On this newly built page to celebrate our volunteers, you will find exciting new features such as volunteer shout-outs, featured volunteer opportunity of the month, as well as ways to stay in the loop across the organization.

For any questions about Volunteer Xtravaganza, please contact Dom at doma@soundgenerations.org.

Recognizing the 2021 Inspire Positive Aging Award Winners

We would like to take this Black History Month to recognize previous winners of our Inspire Positive Aging Awards who represent and advocate for BIPOC individuals and families in their local communities.

Winner of the 2021 IPAA Advocacy & Activism Award was Cynthia Grayson. For years, Cynthia lived out her advocacy values as a child welfare worker and a mental health therapist. She has always fiercely fought for establishing equity in access to services for African American and Native American families and communities. A true example of a person who practices what they preach, Cynthia has worked tirelessly to network and engage with others to establish a strong and supportive system of care dedicated to the cause of human justice. Upon receiving her award at the 2021 IPAA virtual event, Cynthia goes on to recognize the value of funding and supporting kinship caregivers, older adults that might also be acting as parents or caregivers to their grandchildren.

Cynthia Grayson, 2021 IPAA winner in pink shirt with grandson in black shirt smiling together

“This was something that I was going to have to not only be a strong advocate for, but also maybe activism, just because I know sometimes….many people are not aware that some of our grandparents are parenting the second time around, and how challenging that may be. So having had that experience on a personal level, I feel really positive about being selected for this award.”

Receiving the award for Intergenerational Impact was Mary Floyd, who has worked for several years in education and in that time has also been volunteering as a foster grandparent with Homage. Her ability to pivot and adapt amidst the drastic changes in the school system brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic allowed her to continue supporting children virtually, overcoming technological barriers along the way.

IPAA winner Mary Floyd smiling, wearing glasses and sitting in front of a picture frame

“It’s a booster for me, to continue reaching out to our future generations, our children, and encouraging them. Volunteering is a powerful tool that can be used on both fronts, virtual and in person.”

The 2022 Inspire Positive Aging awards will be held in person for the first time since 2019. We look forward to seeing more amazing nominees. Visit our IPAA hub to learn more.

The Power of Human Connection

Image of two older adults in dark clothing smiling and hugging each other
Storytelling image of a multiethnic senior couple in love – Elderly married couple dating outdoors, love emotions and feelings

Sound Generations is about changing the narrative around aging. We use this phrase all the time. Through the work that we do and the programs we provide, we are always striving to paint a new series of images that portray a vibrant, balanced, and independent life. Independent, however, does not mean the same thing as alone.

It is no hyperbole that human connection can save lives. Time and time again we have recognized the devastating impact of isolation on the physical and mental wellbeing of older adults living alone throughout the ongoing pandemic. Limited access to transportation, food insecurity, and barriers to maintaining regular social interaction with friends and loved ones takes a heavy toll on many of the individuals we serve.

Our programs have been created to help fill the gaps in nutrition, wellness, transit, and other common areas of need, but fostering a strong community support network alongside all of that is how we can ensure that older adults are set up to thrive. And it doesn’t take much to make a big difference in someone’s day and show that you care about them. Something as simple as a text or phone call to a loved one or checking up on a neighbor to see how they’re doing and if they need anything, can help those around us feel a little safer and more supported.

If you would like to be that person in your community that others can count out, download this simple Neighbor Postcard to print, fill out, and drop off in the mailbox of your aging community members.

Kindness and care are more powerful than ever right now. We hope you will help us in sharing love and support for those in need.