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Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Tacoma, WA

Home Care Tacoma, WA

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic College Park National Historic District gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Tacoma, WA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Tacoma, WA

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.

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TESTIMONIALS

“Great team, great clientele, available hours”

Joan K.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The absolute best in home care services! Our family are so grateful for Phil, Deena and their entire home care team! We could not have cared for our mother at home without them!”

Lisa F.
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TESTIMONIALS

“There is no better agency than Steve and his team. We went through 4 different agencies until we found them and have thanked our lucky stars. Reliable, educated and experienced. They have our family’s best interest and heart in mind.”

Christina M.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The greatest in home care ever!! The staff was very knowledgeable and very caring about our needs.”

Brian F.
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TESTIMONIALS

“They were caring, and did a good job when we finally got the right person. They were caring, efficient and they did a good job.”

Dwayne F.
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TESTIMONIALS

“I felt confident that my mom was being taken care of and that she seemed happy with the caregivers. As far as her life she was well fed, her physical hygiene was taken care of, and she had company. I'd recommend them because the caregivers were well trained and they showed a lot of care for my mother and they also kept the family informed.”

Marie D.
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TESTIMONIALS

“It takes some of the burden off of me. When I need schedule changes, such as today with an early morning doctor's appointment, they easily change the schedule when we need. I already have. I like that they come and check and find out what our goals are, as well as working with the provider that comes to our home. They are well coordinated.”

Lynette C.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The services are essential because they're always on time. I would recommend Always Best Care because I like the people who they send. They're just outstanding.”

Grace C.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The services have helped him the most by having no confusion about taking their pills. I want them to follow-up more often.”

Donna P.
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TESTIMONIALS

“They help with things that I can't do anymore. I like that they always have someone for you.”

Robert M.
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TESTIMONIALS

“I work for an assisted living community in Tacoma and often come across potential residents and their family members who use Always Best Care for in-home caregiving, as well as senior advising to find long term care placement. Phil and Steve are fantastic care partners, and great advocates for seniors in our area!”

Theresa L.
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TESTIMONIALS

“I worked with Phil and Steve to try and find a memory care facility or possibly an adult family home for my mom who was in late stage Altzheimers disease. They were both so caring, empathetic, understanding and patient with us during the most difficult time for our family. Ultimately we were unable to move mom, but I never felt any frustration or impatience from them, only the utmost care and concern. I would recommend this place to anyone trying to find a care facility or home for a loved one.”

Jennifer W.
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TESTIMONIALS

“They were proactive, nice, pleasant people. One thing I like about them is that they are very nice and professional, easy to work with.”

Richard A.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The agency can make my life easier by communicating more. I like this agency because they are prompt.”

Danny J.
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TESTIMONIALS

“I am not able to do a lot of things that I used to do for myself. They are responsive, and they do a good job at getting good employees.”

Thomas O.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The whole team was great with my mom when she was finally discharged home, especially Roshea and Kelsey. I especially liked that they had consistent staff instead of a new caregiver every shift.”

debbie S.
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TESTIMONIALS

“Having someone here to assist my parents has allowed me to focus on other things. They're good communicators, they're kind, and the caregivers do a good job.”

Dorothy L.
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TESTIMONIALS

“The agency helps me not to worry about the client. The company could be better at finding caregivers for us faster.”

Jennifer W.
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TESTIMONIALS

“They helped with things like light housekeeping. I liked that they were excellent at communicating with us.”

Melissa A.
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TESTIMONIALS

“It is easier for us because someone is taking care of my mom. The caregiver is great.”

Steve B.
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TESTIMONIALS

“They carry conversations with me. They are very smart nurses.”

Hellen B.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Tacoma, WA?

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Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.

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When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

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The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

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At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Tacoma, WA

Types of Elderly Care in Tacoma, WA

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Tacoma, WA
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Tacoma, WA
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Titlow Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Tacoma, WA
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local The Melting Pot - Tacoma or visit Port of Tacoma Observation Tower, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Tacoma, WA

Benefits of Home Care in Tacoma, WA

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Tacoma, WA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Tacoma, WA

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your WA's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Tacoma, WA

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Tacoma, WA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.


Respite Care Tacoma, WA

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Tacoma, WA

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Cascade Park Vista
  • Weatherly Inn Tacoma
  • Peoples Senior Living
  • GenCare Lifestyle Tacoma at Point Ruston
  • Brookdale Allenmore
  • Merrill Gardens at Wright Park
Home Care Tacoma, WA

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Tacoma, WA

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way

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A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive

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Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider

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Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Tacoma, WA 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Tacoma, WA

Latest News in Tacoma, WA

UW Tacoma leadership celebrates student success and announces campus developments

On November 21, Chancellor Sheila Edwards Lange kicked off a campus update, emphasizing UW Tacoma’s commitment to student success. Discussions centered on equity gaps, graduation rates, and first-year retention. Despite progress, concerns lingered about disparities compared to sister campuses.Chancellor Lange said, “Our student success teams are advancing strategies for retention, graduation rates, and overall student experience.”Positive news on fall enrollment, critical for the budget, was highlighted. She c...

On November 21, Chancellor Sheila Edwards Lange kicked off a campus update, emphasizing UW Tacoma’s commitment to student success. Discussions centered on equity gaps, graduation rates, and first-year retention. Despite progress, concerns lingered about disparities compared to sister campuses.

Chancellor Lange said, “Our student success teams are advancing strategies for retention, graduation rates, and overall student experience.”

Positive news on fall enrollment, critical for the budget, was highlighted. She commended the Admissions and Outreach teams for boosting enrollment amid declining graduate numbers, recognizing their contribution to a positive learning environment.

Mentha Hynes-Wilson, Vice Chancellor for student affairs, celebrated successes, attributing increased enrollment to strategic planning and modern technology. Challenges in retaining returning students were acknowledged, emphasizing the community’s role in fostering a sense of belonging.

She emphasized the shift in enrollment strategies, moving from traditional methods, such as college fairs and school visits, to leveraging modern technology and social media. Hynes-Wilson introduced a new admissions website, urging the campus community to explore its features and become acquainted with the resources available. She issued a call to action, urging everyone to share information about guaranteed admission programs and upcoming application deadlines.

“We indeed did it. Give yourselves a round of applause,” Hynes-Wilson said, acknowledging the collective effort to navigate changes in the educational landscape.

One way that the university is attempting to support student retention is through programs such as the AAPI Thrive Scholars initiative. The initiative, aimed at promoting student retention, was introduced by Nestor, the AAPI Thrive Project Director. Excitement was expressed for the inaugural cohort of 19 students.

“Our AAPI Thrive Scholars are making remarkable strides in their academic journeys. This program is not just about retention; it’s about creating a supportive and inclusive environment for our students,” Nestor said.

Students, some speaking publicly for the first time, showcased their community strength through powerful poems and a collaborative scene.

Vice Chancellor Andrew Harris discussed academic achievements, budget updates, and faculty initiatives. Fifteen faculty searches across five schools were launched. Collaborations with faculty assembly leadership on workload equity and support for research and faculty development were highlighted.

“We have launched fifteen full-time faculty searches across five schools, fostering new program growth and existing program nourishment,” Vice Chancellor Harris said.

Vice Chancellor Sylvia James addressed budget monitoring, Workday implementation, and plans for an inclusive budget process. Acknowledging challenges, she emphasized progress in enhanced monitoring.

“We are in our second year of enhanced monitoring, and the Office of Planning and Budget has confirmed the successful submission of our reports,” Vice Chancellor James stated.

She also announced the formation of a Budget Advisory Committee, emphasizing the importance of engaging and participating in the budget process.

UW Tacoma’s update highlighted leadership’s dedication to academic excellence, financial stability and student success. The campus community’s collective efforts and groundbreaking initiatives like AAPI Thrive promise continued growth and innovation.

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In "News"

15 administrative positions are being reduced or cut completely as UWT budget faces funding deficit.

In "News"

Will Tacoma enjoy a white Christmas? Here is the Farmers’ Almanac’s Puget Sound forecast

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Tacoma, sadly your dreams will likely not become a reality this winter.The Farmers’ Almanac Christmas forecast has arrived for Dec. 24 to Dec. 27, and although many of the United States’ northern reaches are in luck, including the mountains east of Puget Sound, the more coastal regions of the Evergreen State do not have the same luck.For many of the country’s co...

If you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, Tacoma, sadly your dreams will likely not become a reality this winter.

The Farmers’ Almanac Christmas forecast has arrived for Dec. 24 to Dec. 27, and although many of the United States’ northern reaches are in luck, including the mountains east of Puget Sound, the more coastal regions of the Evergreen State do not have the same luck.

For many of the country’s colder states, snow is likely in the forecast for Christmas, but that does not include the south Puget Sound area.

English writer Charles Dickens first popularized the idea of a “white Christmas” through his famous 1843 classic “A Christmas Carol.” A snow-covered Christmas is the backdrop to Ebenezer Scrooge’s ghostly visits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

The song “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby was recorded in 1942 and has been played in households across the country every year since, cementing the idea in popular culture.

The National Weather Service defines a white Christmas as having at least one inch of snow on the ground.

The Farmers’ Almanac groups Washington in the Northwest region alongside Oregon and Idaho.

“Unsettled weather slowly improves for the Christmas holiday,” the Almanac predicts.

The Almanac predicts that on Dec. 25, “there will be a white Christmas across the mountains and foothills, but not along coastal locations.”

The Climate Prediction Center’s long-range forecast for the next month shows that Washington is expected to be above average for temperature and normal chances of precipitation, so the chance of a white Christmas is very unlikely for western Washingtonians.

The Farmers’ Almanac predicts that weather will be rainy, stormy and foggy leading up to the week of Christmas, but the weather will slowly improve for Christmas day.

Not going to be in Tacoma for Christmas, and want to know what the chances of a white Christmas are for your destination? Here’s what the Farmers’ Almanac predicts for other areas of the United States.

Northeast and New England

New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C.

“Looks like any wintry precipitation comes to an end, bringing clear skies for holiday events.”

Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Midwest

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin

“Looks like any wintry precipitation comes to an end, bringing clear skies for holiday events.”

Southeast

Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida

“Some cold and wet precipitation may dampen this Christmas – but never our holiday spirit! After Christmas, expect a slow clearing.”

North Central

Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana

“Looking good for a White Christmas! Possible heavy snow in Colorado and over the Plains just in time to set the mood for the holiday.”

South Central

Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico

“A stormy Christmas across New Mexico to Texas, then clearing. The Gulf Coast looks like it might be a wet holiday rather than white with rain in the forecast.”

Southwest

California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona

A very white Christmas for Utah with heavy snow forecast. Arizona looks stormy but may clear in time for opening presents.

This story was originally published November 29, 2023, 11:36 AM.

Tacoma is in the election spotlight. One vote could ripple ‘for generations’ in WA | Opinion

OPINION AND COMMENTARYEditorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent from the work of our newsroom reporters.On election night, all eyes will be on Tacoma.Initiative 1 – often referred to locally as the tenant bill of rights — has people’s attention, for good reason.Locally, the interest is obvious. The initiative would create a host of ...

OPINION AND COMMENTARY

Editorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent from the work of our newsroom reporters.

On election night, all eyes will be on Tacoma.

Initiative 1 – often referred to locally as the tenant bill of rights — has people’s attention, for good reason.

Locally, the interest is obvious. The initiative would create a host of new rental protections, including limits on certain evictions during cold-weather months. If approved, it would dramatically alter the rental landscape across the city, almost overnight. It’s why there are yard signs everywhere. It’s why people are talking. Everyone has a stake.

Outside of T-Town?

Expect interest to be just as high, most notably among grassroots activists, landlord groups and political movers and shakers.

The initiative is a homegrown effort — championed by a dedicated coalition of volunteers, labor leaders and elected progressives — but what happens on election night in the City of Destiny could ripple across the region, and everyone knows it.

For Tacoma voters, Initiative 2023-01 presents a weighty decision.

Across the Puget Sound region, it could be a harbinger of things to come.

That’s not hyperbole.

It’s one of the few things both sides agree on.

Supporters of the Tacoma initiative, which in addition to cold-weather eviction limits on families with local students, teachers and the elderly would enact a number of strong tenant protections, say the ballot measure would help level the rental playing field.

It’s significantly stronger than most local landlord-tenant codes by design, they’ve said — including what’s currently on the books in Seattle.

Among other things, Initiative 1 would require landlords to foot the bill for relocation assistance when a tenant is displaced by a rent increase of more than 5% and sharply limit deposits and late fees. It also would establish what proponents describe as a Landlord Fairness Code, prohibiting rent increases in properties operating in violation of local tenant-protection laws.

Why is this happening — and why now?

It’s simple: Tacoma rents have skyrocketed in recent years, and large, corporate landlords have increasingly come to town to reap the benefits.

There’s also a crushing shortage of affordable housing. Local renters have been forced to allocate more and more of their often-limited income to the cost of housing.

At the same time, long-time residents are being priced out at an alarming rate. It’s an unsustainable cycle, and a critical mass of people has collectively decided local elected leaders haven’t done nearly enough to stem the tide.

Most supporters are also candid about the realities: Yes, a small number of local landlords likely would be put in a tough spot if Initiative 1 passes, they acknowledge, but it pales in comparison to the thousands of Tacoma renters currently being chewed up and spit out by an unjust housing market.

Regardless of where you stand, it’s easy to understand why residents are taking matters into their own hands, through the democratic tools available.

Here’s the thing:

Short of that last part — the bit about residents getting fed up and launching a campaign to do something about it — the same could be said for just about every mid-size city in Western Washington.

If Initiative 1 is successful in Tacoma, it would be foolish to suggest the game plan won’t be put into action elsewhere.

A decisive election victory also could provide inspiration for state lawmakers — including Tacoma Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, a vocal supporter of the initiative — to double down on efforts to pass similar legislation in the Legislature, perhaps as soon as the coming session.

The possibility that success at the Tacoma ballot box could provide momentum for others isn’t lost on Ty Moore, the campaign manager for Tacoma for All, the renters’ rights group that worked to qualify Initiative 1 for the ballot.

In fact, it’s something people are banking on, Moore told me last week.

Moore said that a number of political groups and sympathetic state lawmakers — including the Low Income Housing Alliance — would view passing Initiative 1 in Tacoma as “a bellwether for the viability of rent stabilization and other needed reforms.”

Moore indicated that housing rights organizers from other cities have reached out for advice as they weigh similar local initiatives elsewhere, pending the outcome in Tacoma.

Moore also argued that the campaign seeking to defeat Initiative 1 — which includes financial support from statewide landlord advocacy groups like the Rental Housing Association of Washington as well as Realtor groups — is clear evidence of the stakes.

“Outside business interests aren’t investing so heavily in Tacoma’s election because they care about Tacomans,” Moore said via email. “It’s because they fear tenants statewide will demand similar protections.”

“We are in a political moment … where working people are ready to consider much more far-reaching policy solutions to the housing crisis,” Moore added. “The combination of a worsening housing crisis, driven by the financialization of the industry and rising expectations in the aftermath of the pandemic, is creating a new political moment ripe with possibilities if tenants and working people are able to get organized.”

Sean Flynn, the Rental Housing Association of Washington’s executive director and board president, doesn’t agree with Moore on much. But when it comes to the potential statewide implications of Initiative 1, they’re singing the same tune.

On Monday, Flynn agreed that the outcome in Tacoma will provide a signal to state lawmakers in Olympia, one way or the other.

Flynn also said he would expect the same approach that’s been employed by activists and labor groups in Tacoma to take hold elsewhere if the initiative passes.

“I think both sides are looking at this as sort of a proxy for general support,” Flynn said on Monday.

“This is the playbook, right? When the quote-unquote tenant advocates don’t get what they want out of a city council or the legislative process, they kick the table over and go to the voters — and the initiative process,” Flynn added.

As far as common ground goes, it’s not much — and the difference of opinion between the two sides of Tacoma’s Initiative 1 debate remains stark.

Supporters, like Moore, have said publicly that victory would be “massive” for “grassroots democracy in Tacoma” and “everyone fighting for stronger tenant protections.”

Flynn, meanwhile, described it as a nightmare scenario, telling The News Tribune, “If this thing passes, the ramifications for this are going to be felt for generations — and that’s really scary.”

The good news for the average Tacoma voter?

We’re right in the thick of it.

Casting a local ballot in an off-year election rarely carries so much weight.

Want to watch the solar eclipse over WA this weekend? Here’s when, how to do it safely

Millions of Americans will be treated to a rare celestial event on Saturday morning as the moon passes between Earth and the sun, causing an annular solar eclipse that’ll be viewable to some extent to nearly everyone in North America.But it’s still unsafe to look directly at the eclipse despite the moon blocking out most of the sun’s light — about ...

Millions of Americans will be treated to a rare celestial event on Saturday morning as the moon passes between Earth and the sun, causing an annular solar eclipse that’ll be viewable to some extent to nearly everyone in North America.

But it’s still unsafe to look directly at the eclipse despite the moon blocking out most of the sun’s light — about 91% in the path of totality and 81% in Washington.

Viewing any part of the sun — either with the naked eye or through any binoculars or cameras without a special-purpose solar filter — can cause permanent damage to the eyes. The only time it’s safe to look directly at an eclipse is during a full eclipse, according to NASA. With this weekend’s eclipse being annular, it won’t be safe to look directly at the eclipse at any point.

With that knowledge in mind, here’s what to know about watching the eclipse in Washington this weekend.

There are three main kinds of solar eclipses: total, partial and annular.

Instead, the moon will align perfectly with the sun for those in the path of totality, but a “ring of fire” will glow ferociously around the dark moon.

The most common method for watching an eclipse is eclipse glasses. These flimsy cardboard glasses have solar filters over the eye holes, which allow the user to look directly at the eclipse.

Eclipse glasses can be purchased from Amazon, but many big box stores, such as Walmart and Target, often sell them as well. You can, of course, still use your glasses from 2017 if you still have them and the solar lenses aren’t broken.

If you’d rather save money, you can also make a homemade pinhole camera; it won’t let you look directly at the sun, but you can see the eclipse’s progress using shadows.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has an online guide on making a pinhole camera, and all you need is two pieces of white cardstock, aluminum foil, tape, and a pen, paper clip or pencil.

The pinhole camera is made by cutting a square in one of the pieces of cardstock and taping aluminum foil over the hole. Using the pen, pencil or paper clip, you poke a hole through the aluminum foil and hold your creation over the blank piece of cardstock.

A small circle of light will appear on the bottom cardstock where the sunlight can get through — As the eclipse progresses, the circle of light will mimic how the sun looks.

The path of totality starts on American soil in western Oregon before traveling on a southeast route through northern Nevada and into Utah. Those in the path of totality will see about 91% of the sun blocked at the peak of the eclipse, according to Space.com, with the 9% being the ring of fire around the outer edge.

For those wanting to remain in Washington for the eclipse, it won’t be as magnificent as it would look within the path of totality, but it’ll be pretty close.

Washington state will see about 81% of the sun blocked out, with a partial eclipse starting at 8:09 a.m. The annular eclipse will reach its max for Washington at 9:20 a.m. and last for several minutes before fading into a partial eclipse, lasting until 10:39 a.m.

This story was originally published October 11, 2023, 5:00 AM.

Dolly Parton is coming to Washington to celebrate Imagination Library. What to know

Country music icon Dolly Parton has plans to visit Washington to celebrate her Imagination Library program now offering free books to young children across the state.The news prompted Parton to plan a special visit to the state on Aug. 15 where she will hold a fireside chat, perform and recognize those who helped the initiative reach statewide coverage, according to an Aug. 2 news release.The ...

Country music icon Dolly Parton has plans to visit Washington to celebrate her Imagination Library program now offering free books to young children across the state.

The news prompted Parton to plan a special visit to the state on Aug. 15 where she will hold a fireside chat, perform and recognize those who helped the initiative reach statewide coverage, according to an Aug. 2 news release.

The popular reading program sends free books to children under age 5 every month, regardless of family income.

The Imagination Library was offered in many counties across the state before June 9, 2022, but on that date, a law took effect to make it a statewide program. Not every county in Washington, however, had an affiliate that could immediately offer the program.

Then on July 24, 2023, “all remaining regions of the state were activated with Imagination Library program coverage,” Brooke Fisher-Clark, executive director of the Imagination Library in Washington, told McClatchy News.

Additionally, Gov. Jay Inslee and Lt. Gov. Denny Heck will proclaim the day as Imagination Library of Washington Day.

“It is important to get high quality books to children from a young age and ensure that their families, and their unique races, ethnicities and identities are well-represented among the selection of books,” Inslee said in the release.

The event is invite only, but anyone can watch the broadcast on TVW or online at 2:30 p.m.

Dolly Parton started the program in 1995 to help impoverished children in the Tennessee county where she grew up. She was inspired to help others learn to read and write because her father couldn’t.

Tennessee then expanded the Imagination Library to every county in the state. Now the reading program spans across five countries.

In Washington, 65,000 children have been enrolled in the program, and 1.6 million books have been sent out.

A child in Washington can be enrolled online and will receive their first free book within six to eight weeks. When a child turns 5, they will get their last book in the mail called “Look out Kindergarten, Here I Come!”

This story was originally published August 2, 2023, 1:20 PM.

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