The Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) offers a detailed list of services available to senior citizens in a county-by-county list on its website. You can also call the ALTSA General Information Line - 360-725-2300. (ALTSA is a division of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.)
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program connects people in every county of Washington state with trained volunteers who can help sort out concerns and other questions for people living in nursing homes, adult family homes, and assisted living facilities. Call 1-800-562-6028 or open this link to find out more or to initiate a complaint. Initial contacts with the Ombuds program are kept confidential and only if it is necessary will an Ombuds representative have any contact with the place where the person who is having some sort of problem lives. For general information about the program, click here. (The Ombuds program can also help if difficulties arise when a move to a more intensive level of care is being considered by a resident of a CCRC.)
Effective July 25, 2021, all residents who live in licensed long-term care (LTC) facilities in WA have the right to access by an "essential support person". Read more about this legislation in a memo from the Ombuds Office here.
The Fraud Fighters Program of the Office of the Attorney General helps senior citizens and their families or care givers protect seniors against the many frauds that target vulnerable people. The AG’s Consumer Resource Center accepts complaints about business practices and prosecutes violations of the consumer protection law. To find out more, open this webpage or call 800-551-4636 (in Washington only) or 206-464-6684.
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has a staff trained to assist consumers with insurance questions and offers assistance for dealing with complaints about insurance companies. The Help Line at-800-562-6900 is available during business hours and more information is online at the link above.
In 2022, the OIC carried out an assessment of the need for greater protections for CCRC residents. Read the OIC report 2022 CCRC Study.
The Washington State Council on Aging is an advisory body for state government that includes representatives of local communities, Area Agencies on Aging Advisory Councils, cities & counties, the legislature, and the long-term services and support field. Its website at offers more information.
The Governor’s office website presents the Governor’s position on key issues and links to current events for the office.
The State Legislature website which offers current information on legislative hearings, links to legislative committees, explanations of proposed legislation, and details of the progress of legislation through the entire process. During legislative sessions, this information is updated daily. There are also directories which provide contact information for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.
AARP is an advocacy organization for people at least 50 years old and members of their families. Both the national organization and the Washington State affiliate offer extensive information online, regular publications for members, a wide range of discounts and special offers for members, and active volunteer opportunities. Washington residents will find AARP information at https://states.aarp.org/washington/.
The Washington State Senior Citizens’ Lobby http://www.waseniorlobby.org/ includes links to 36 organizations that support legislation and engage in advocacy on behalf of senior citizens (including WACCRA). The website also lists and provides links to more than 50 organizations “that help to keep seniors informed about public policy, advocacy, and legislative issues.”
There are thirteen Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that coordinate services for senior citizens in every community in Washington; a contact list offers phone numbers for contacting the AAA for each county. More information about Area Agencies on Aging in Washington is available at http://www.agingwashington.org/
Attorneys who specialize in working with senior citizens often belong to the Washington Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. There’s a list of useful resources at https://waela.org/resources/. The website also includes a page to help senior citizens find a lawyer.
Retirees organizations: Washington Education Association https://www.washingtonea.org/membership/join/retired/. Washington State School Retirees Association https://wssra.org/. Retired Public Employees Council of Washington http://www.rpecwa.org/. And for federal employees, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association http://www.narfe.org/
LeadingAge Washington serves as a trade association for “not-for-profit and mission-driven organizations dedicated to providing quality housing and skilled long-term care” for senior citizens. Many of the CCRCs in Washington state are members of LeadingAge along with a wide variety of other senior-serving organizations. For details, see https://leadingagewa.org/.
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