Prepare to Care: Start the Conversation

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November was National Caregiver Month. To celebrate, we hosted an Age Friendly Seattle “Lunch and Learn” on November 28th to build public awareness around the supportive services that are available to all unpaid Primary Caregivers and care receivers regardless of economic need.

I was joined by Dist 4. Councilmember Rob Johnson (left), my Chief of Staff Alyson McLean, and presenters from our Dept. of Human Services Aging and Disability Services team.

To promote our Age-Friendly city, we have preparatory tools available to support our loved ones. Preparing to care for an aged or disabled family member is as important as preparing for the birth of a new child, yet we often find this type of caregiving way more challenging. I personally experienced difficulties while caring for my dad and navigating complicated systems.  I didn’t have much care-giving experience at that time and found myself needing on-the-job training.  Here’s some Help for caregivers that might help you before you need it.

Cathy Knight (right), Director of our City’s Aging and Disability Services team in our Human Services Department, with Cathy MacCaul of AARP Washington.

Getting started was half the battle. Fortunately, there are many new resources to help us prepare for this period of our loved one’s life. AARP has created a Caregiving: Prepare to Care Guide to help families start the conversation about what is needed to be successful. This guide comes complete with checklists and easy to follow steps to help outline what you need to do to provide the best possible care.

If you or your family are being challenged by aging or disability issues and need more than the guides linked above, please contact Community Living Connections by calling 1-844-348-5464 or There are many care options available to you free of charge such as minor home repair, counselling and specialized medical equipment and supplies to name a few.  I am dedicated to supporting people of all ages in our district, so we can truly become an Age-Friendly city.

To learn more about these free services available to you, you can watch the lunch and learn on Seattle Channel.

Photos courtesy of Seattle City Council Communications

Thank you to Lena Tebeau and Emily Raszler for their contributions to this post.