Snohomish County getting older

Older people are the fastest growing population in Snohomish County, and a agency is seeking volunteers to address the issues they will face

The number of aging baby boomers, between the ages of 55 and 64, and older seniors, those 85 and older, is growing rapidly.

Over the next 15 to 25 years, these trends are only expected to continue, with people 60 to 74 projected to be the fastest growing demographic group, said Janelle Sgrignoli, who directs the county’s Human Services Department.

These numbers help underscore the importance of the work done by the Snohomish County Council on Aging, she said.

The group, which focuses on the needs of older adults, is now seeking nine volunteers to serve for three-year terms beginning in January.

The group “makes sure government, business and communities are all aware of the needs and issues relating to that population,” Sgrignoli said.

The council also oversees issues of people with disabilities.

Members of the council “really do play a key role,” said Jerry Fireman, who supervises Snohomish County’s Long Term Care and Aging program. “They help us make decisions about federal and state funds and the services they should be applied to.”

Group members generally attend two meetings a month. So volunteers should be prepared to donate about four hours a month to these activities, Sgrignoli said.

Although the majority of the group is age 60 or older, anyone with an interest in the issues of older adults can join, she said.

Group members must be approved by the Snohomish County Council.

The members lobby government leaders on issues of aging and the disabled. They also monitor the programs and services targeted at these groups.

One of the issues they’re now investigating is the lack of mental health services for older adults.

The council brought together agencies which provide these services, seniors and experts in mental health to try to determine the current gaps in providing services and how they can be filled.

“As people get older, they have more mental health issues,” Sgrignoli. A big one people face is losing a spouse, she said. “That’s a huge hole to fill.”

The group also monitors obstacles to the basic needs of seniors, such as lack of transportation to get to medical appointment or getting their prescriptions filled, she said.

Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

How to volunteer

The Snohomish County Council on Aging is looking for volunteers. The group focuses on issues that affect seniors. For more information, call Jerry Fireman who supervises Snohomish County’s Long Term Care and Aging program, at 425-388-7241.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers speaks to the crowd during an opening ceremony at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County executive pitches $1.66B budget

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced his proposed budget Tuesday afternoon. Public comment is slated to begin Oct. 10.

Jamel Alexander, center, listens as a Snohomish County jury records their verdict of guilty, in the murder of Shawna Brune, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 in Everett, Washington.  Alexander was convicted in the first degree murder of Brune. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Appeals court orders new trial in Everett woman’s stomping death

Appellate judges ruled that additional evidence should have been admitted in Jamel Alexander’s trial for the murder of Shawna Brune.

Kristy Carrington, CEO of Providence Swedish of North Puget Sound, speaks during a Healthcare Summit at Everett Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Providence, Optum and Premera discuss challenges at Everett summit

Five panelists spoke on labor shortages, high costs and health care barriers Wednesday at Everett Community College.

A salmon leaps out of the water while migrating up Wood Creek on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023 in Monroe, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
As Woods Creek railroad trestle comes down, a new doorway for salmon

The trestle was a toxic, physical barrier for salmon since 1939. Now, migrating fish will benefit from its removal.

Schools still without water after service restored to Tulalip homes

The affected area included Quil Ceda Elementary, as well as Heritage and Legacy high schools.

Most Read