State Rep. Sherry Appleton will continue to serve the state’s senior citizens as a member of the Washington Council on Aging.
Appleton, a 23rd District lawmaker, was reappointed to the council by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp.
The council was established by the Legislature to advise the governor, the Department of Social and Health Services and the state’s Office on Aging.
“I’m grateful for the chance to continue serving on the council,” Appleton said.
“Washington is fortunate to have a growing population of elders, including many who have come here from other states to enjoy the wonderful place others have called home for generations. This is a vital segment of our population, one that grows more important every day,” she said.
Appleton, a Democrat from Poulsbo who was honored in 2010 by the National Adult Day Services Association for her commitment in the Legislature to aging-related issues, noted the expanding population of seniors in Washington state.
She pointed to the Office of Financial Management’s November 2012 population forecast, which estimated there were at that time about 830,000 people in Washington — nearly 14 percent of the state's population — who were at least 65 years old. And as the population ages, the forecast predicts, the number will more than double to 1,860,000 – or more than one in five Washingtonians – by 2040.
“We can’t wait 15 or 20 years to address what many are calling ‘The Silver Tsunami,’” Appleton said.
“The time is now to look at healthcare, long-term care, accessibility and other special concerns. And we’d be doing the whole state a disservice if we didn’t do our best to maximize the incredible benefits these folks can bring to us all," she said. "The Council on Aging is key to this work, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish so far.”
According to the council's Web site, the council has the following powers and duties:
To serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor, the Secretary of Social and Health Services and the State Unit on Aging on all matters pertaining to policies, programs and services affecting older persons;
To create public awareness of the special needs and potentialities of older persons;
To provide for self-advocacy by older citizens of the state through sponsorship of training, legislative and other conferences, workshops and such other methods as may be deemed appropriate; and
To establish bylaws to aid in the performance of its powers and duties.
In addition to her seat on the Council on Aging and her work in Olympia as a veteran legislator, Appleton serves on the board of the Office of Public Defense, and was recently appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
It will be Appleton’s third term on the commission. The lawmaker served two four-year terms beginning in 1995, and her new appointment comes after a 10-year hiatus.