So long to 2019 and the ‘teens’

The new year of 2020 rings out an old year and bring in a new decade. Here’s a look back at some of the stories that made headlines in Senior Scene in 2019 to close out the “twentyteens.”

 â€œLunch with smiles, laughs and hugs.” Sumner Senior Center was a fun example of volunteers helping Catholic Community Services dish up good food and good times at 29 mealsites in Pierce and King counties.

“I learned about strokes the hard way.” A former newspaper editor and computer technology industry executive described his out-of-the-blue bout with a stroke.

“Increase of Social Security: 1.6 percent.” The cost-of-living boost in benefits in 2020 will be the smallest in three years.

“League of Women Voters can get you involved.” With a big election year coming up, the organization that first began taking root 100 years ago will once again play a role in informing voters.

“More can get property tax breaks.” State lawmakers made themselves popular by expanding Washington’s senior property tax exemption and deferral program.

“Don’t fall.” In observance of the injury-preventing efforts behind National Fall Prevention Month, the annual Pierce County Falls Prevention Day event was held in September in Tacoma to raise awareness.

“’This group saves me.’” Musical get-togethers organized through Lutheran Community Services Northwest put rhythm and joy in the lives of memory-loss patients and their care partners.

“The games people can still play are for health and competition.” In 2019, the National Senior Games drew a record 13,700 competitors, and the Washington State Senior Games attracted 2,000 competitors – all for their health as much as sporting glory.

“Get into the Green.” Speaking of games, a Tacoma club shared the benefits of all ages and skill levels trying their hand in the grassy game of lawn bowling.

“High emotion in memories of ultimate sacrifice.” A Puyallup veteran returned to Normandy in France, where so many of his World War II comrades perished on D-Day 75 years ago.

“Joe Stortini: Restauranteur, politician, teacher and coach.” The 86-year-old Tacoma native talked about practicing what he has preached his entire life as one of Pierce County’s most influential statesmen in his day.

“Fertile ground for green thumbs and empty stomachs.” A much-loved garden at a Federal Way community enriched residents’ lives and local food banks.

“Healthy lawns and environment—naturally.” You can have your grass and be kind to the environment, too—one of the ways to practice environmental stewardship outlined in a series of articles sponsored by the City of Tacoma’s Make a Splash program.

“Never too old.” Chris Lunn, 81, provided a living, teaching example of how to be in good physical shape at any age.

“How to prepare emotionally for retirement.” Along with finances, retirement planning also requires getting ready for changes in purpose and relationships, according to a behavioral health specialist.

“Bridging the generational divides.” Interactions between teenagers and elders at Olympia Senior Center broke down loneliness and helped them understand each other.

‘Put the country and community first.’ At a divisive point in our nation’s history, citizens were encouraged to promote friendlier politics through their own actions.

“Champions of history are protecting ‘places that tell our story.’” With its John Spellman Award for historic preservation, King County rolled out the red carpet for treasured buildings and the people who keep them alive.