Handbook for Washington Seniors
Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources is a comprehensive quick-reference guide on the full range of legal issues facing Washington seniors.
We know the first edition has been an invaluable resource for Washington seniors and their families, and we are thrilled to offer a thoroughly updated second edition, available in English and Spanish.
Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights & Resources (2016, 2nd Edition) is available:
Online: View or download the PDF
Print: Order a spiral-bound book for $20 (shipping included)
In this 2nd edition, you’ll find information on Medicare, patient’s rights, social security, pensions, age or disability discrimination, raising grandchildren, consumer issues, end-of-life issues, elder abuse, and much more.
About the Work
In 2006, the Legal Voice Self Help Committee identified two different groups of women who were heading for a crisis. As the “Baby Boomer” generation was aging, many women elders (who still outlive male spouses) were left more vulnerable. At the same time, the “sandwich generation” (those people – mostly women –taking care of elderly parents while parenting a child) were about to take on even greater burdens of responsibility.
What’s more, senior women and gender diverse folks are at particular risk of poverty, abuse, and exploitation. Because women and gender diverse folks tend to live longer than men, and because their earning power (especially for those who are now our elders) are more limited over the entire course of their lives, they struggle to make ends meet and to live with dignity.
For nearly eight years a dedicated workgroup of Legal Voice volunteers and staff researched the legal needs of our elders. They confirmed that this population is drastically underserved, and faces complex legal issues in multiple areas of their lives: health care, social security, pensions, age or disability discrimination, raising grandchildren, consumer issues, end-of-life issues, elder abuse, and many more.
Though Washington seniors have extensive legal rights, many are unaware of their rights or how to get the help they need. Moreover, informal caregivers of seniors – often seniors themselves – act as care managers, advocates, and surrogate decision-makers, often without adequate information or support to navigate the legal, benefits, and health care systems.
The first result of all this work came in 2012 with the first edition of our innovative publication, Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights & Resources, which we developed with the input of a wide variety of community collaborators. The Handbook is a comprehensive quick-reference guide on the full range of legal issues seniors face.
Senior Handbook Updates
Our next step is to update the 2016 version to reflect current law and public benefits – such as changes to the Affordable Care Act and the addition of Washington’s Paid Family & Medical Leave Program – as well as update resource lists.