Reflecting on 2022 & Looking Ahead to a Bright New Year

Beautiful healthy woman in her 80's

As we reflect on 2022, our hearts are filled with so much gratitude. Thank YOU for helping Sound Generations continue to fill in the gaps for older adults in your community. Because of your support last year, our programs were able to continue operating and setting new records of service despite the additional challenges of rising costs across the board due to economic inflation.

Our Meals on Wheels program served over 500,000 in 2022, the highest number of meals ever served over the course of one year. Both of our transportation programs also saw dramatic increases in ridership, which came along with significant increases in program costs due to the surge of gas prices throughout the summer. Despite these additional challenges, there were some notable expansions within program services that allowed us to make a wider and more meaningful impact for older adults in the greater Seattle area.

Community Food Bags, a short-term program that operated in conjunction with Community Dining and the affiliate meal sites, filled in the gaps of serving diverse groups with unique nutritional needs. Hyde Shuttle expanded to the eastside with a pilot program serving Bellevue, Kirkland, and Redmond. Project Enhance has continued to have a wider reach as well with their expansion of virtual program options for health and wellness classes.

With a growing number of older adult residents in King County and the ongoing challenges navigating economic impact and ongoing pandemic, the need for Sound Generations services is only becoming greater. We are committed to keeping our aging communities safe and healthy while fostering a support network that allows them to maintain as much autonomy as possible, living vibrant and fulfilling lives.

None of what we accomplished in 2022 would have been possible without you. So again, thank you for your commitment to changing the narrative around aging with us. We hope that you will continue the journey of support with us in 2023.

Older Adults are Grateful for Meals on Wheels

Senior couple on their 70s wearing a protective face mask picking up the shopping box that granddaughter is delivering in times of COVID-19, she is wearing mask and gloves.

Over this past year, inflation in the greater Seattle area has skyrocketed to over 10% (source: https://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/consumerpriceindex_seattle.htm) and older adults living on low or fixed incomes are among the hardest hit groups in our communities.  

The rising costs of both groceries and transportation make the barrier between aging communities and access to regular, nutritious meals that much harder to overcome without help. For decades, Meals on Wheels has been a service that older adults and adults with disabilities can depend on, disrupting food insecurity by delivering ready-made meals right to their door. 

But Meals on Wheels has also been affected by the soaring inflation rate, and continuing to offer service throughout King County is significantly more expensive than it was in 2021, with the average cost of service rising from $10 per meal to $12 per meal. And Meals on Wheels has provided over 425,000 meals so far this year! 

Food Security is among the most fundamental essential needs for all of us, but now is the time to step in where we can and help ensure that our aging neighbors can continue to be fed and healthy amidst all of the economic challenges and uncertainty. 

There are 3 disabled people in this household. Ages 97, 68, and 22.  
Social Security is our only income.  
Meals on Wheels allows us to stay in our home.

Anonymous Meals on Wheels Client

Caregivers Need Care, Too

The vision of Sound Generations has always emphasized not only a society where older adults can thrive, but also where those who care for them can be equally supported. This part of supportive aging is sometimes left unacknowledged, but we recognize that caregivers need care, too. 

The Caregiver Support team is made up of dedicated specialists who have been, or are currently caregivers themselves. They understand deeply how easy it is to put aside their own needs to care for someone else for so long, unintentionally allowing their own wellbeing to decline. 

Caregiving is often an expectation in families. Grown children caring for their aging parents, and folks caring for a partner. Caregivers do what they do because, well, they care. They want to help those that they love. But they don’t have to do it alone, and they deserve their own time to rest, and to thrive, so that they can continue providing essential care. 

As a more specified service, our Veteran Caregiver Support program continues to grow. This year, the program secured funds to offer veteran caregivers a $500 monthly stipend toward respite care that they can utilize in whatever way it is needed depending the the type and level of care needed by the veteran care recipient. Having anywhere from 4-16 hours covered by additional support means that veteran caregivers can have more of their own time to do the things they need or want to do, while knowing that their care recipient is in good hands. The respite care funding is secured through 2023, and has already shown to be lifechanging for the caregivers it benefits at Sound Generations. 

Medicare Open Enrollment Begins October 15th!

Retiring soon? New to Medicare? Questions about your current Medicare plan?

Health Plan Open Enrollment Begins on October 15th, 2022!

Sound Generations welcomes David Washington, our new independent broker with WeCare Medicare, our health plan support program. David has been in the insurance industry for over 15 years and enjoys making navigating Medicare options an easy and painless decision for people’s health and their wallet.

David will be hosting several Medicare 101 Seminars and be available for one-on-one appointments at several Senior Living and Centers at various facilities throughout the Puget Sound during the Annual Enrollment Period which runs October 15th through December 7th. He can also be reached at 206-727-6234 or wecare@soundgenerations.org.

“The WeCare Medicare insurance broker was very knowledgeable and was able to direct me to a plan with more benefits and less out-of-pocket expense.”

WeCare Medicare Client

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.