Welcome to The Commons! Our readers are a vast resource of wisdom and experience and we want to engage with you in a shared conversation about aging. In this space we will invite insightful bloggers and writers to share their thoughts on living the 3rd Act of life. We will also continue conversations started in our print magazine, providing more information and resources. Most important, we want to hear from you – your thoughts, ideas, wisdom and experiences. Join the conversation!


Few people plan their “encore career” as well as Starbucks partner Jana del Fierro-Peterson. But that’s what the 59-year-old project manager is doing right now – as a volunteer at the preschool at Providence Mount St. Vincent in West Seattle. Del Fierro-Peterson became inspired in 2017 when she saw an NBC Nightly News feature story about Providence Mount St. Vincent’s Intergenerational Learning Center preschoolers interacting with the facility’s nursing home…More

The 2019 Legislative Session came to a close in Washington State and AARP is proud of the support its advocates and coalition partners provided to pass two first-in-the-nation pieces of health care legislation and three consumer protection bills. The Long-term Care Trust Act (HB 1087) is a historic first for the nation. While 70% of Washingtonians over the age of 65 will require some type of long term care assistance,…More

More than one-third of Washington adults confirm first-hand accounts of relationship scams With Valentine’s Day just in our rearview mirrors, millions of Americans are meeting others on matchmaking websites, dating apps and social media. Unfortunately, not all those new connections are meant to be, as 37-percent of Washington residents polled in a new AARP survey (aarp.org/onlineromancescams) reported that they, a family member or a friend have encountered attempted financial scams…More

Appreciating the love you have, while you still have the chance When I was younger and still working, I lived by the calendar on my desk. Every year, right around the tenth of February, I’d roll my eyes at the “holiday” coming up, Valentines Day. In my estimation, it was nothing more than a Hallmark gimmick, and I did my best to avoid any connection with the day. If my…More

Tax season is here. Do you dread filling out those confusing forms?  Are you wondering whether new provisions of the tax code apply to you? Have you put off doing your taxes, even if you expect a refund? Help is available! Beginning February 1 and continuing through April 15, AARP Foundation is providing free in-person tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program. AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, is the nation’s largest…More

People who love cilantro love this recipe. The flavors burst in the mouth. Buoyed by the lemon juice, with a kick from the hot pepper and onion, it has an addictive quality to it. A bowl of this and a bag of chips is a great offering to a potluck. This recipe has several lives. It starts out as a fresh topping or dip, transitions to a cooked sauce for…More

AARP is now accepting nominations for its 2018 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service, which honors Washingtonians 50 and better who are sharing their experience, talent, and skills to enrich the lives of their community members. We know that you have seen and experienced the impact that a dedicated, caring and experienced volunteer can have on lives, programs, communities, and society. This is an opportunity to recognize that impact and…More

Earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes—nature has a way of making us feel small, of revealing our human folly and inadequacies. As natural disasters hit with alarming frequency (along with some man-made ones) my own internal alarm bells go off: How prepared am I should the “Big One” rock Seattle? I have put together my grab-and-go emergency kit, I have some freeze-dried food and water stored, I even have some emergency dog…More

I recently had a very short, intense, caregiving experience. It was Thursday morning, July 27th, and my mother’s husband, whose health had been slowly declining for years, woke panicked and gasping for breath. She asked him if he wanted her to call 911. He nodded emphatically. A whirl of sirens and red lights whisked him away and my 82-year-old mother drove to the hospital dazed and scared. The emergency room…More

Less than 24 months ago I plunged into the business world of aging when my husband, David, and I purchased a small publication called The Senior Guidebook as a semi-retirement business. At 59 I was starting to think about my own aging (and about my parent’s—they are in their 80’s) but I didn’t dwell on it. Like most Boomers I was in denial about what getting older really meant; retirement…More