Workers from India came to Western Washington in the early 1900s but did not stay long due to hostile conditions. Just a few students came to the University of Washington about 70 years ago and went back home. Almost 50 years ago, due to changes in the U.S. laws, many Indians took permanent residence and citizenship in the U.S. Since then, the Indian population has been growing steadily, numbering some 60,000+ people today in 2014, with some members of the community in their 70s, 80s and even 90s. Many of us now face twilight-life decisions and making arrangements for a death in the family. These can be difficult tasks since we do not have the information and support that the elders and others normally provide in similar situations in India. The IAWW Senior Support Group has come up with a structure and mode of operation to assist our community members with helpful information and support during such a difficult situation. Volunteers have come forward to provide various forms of support in different areas of Western Washington. The types of available support in different regions are detailed under Available Support. The procedure to get such support is also specified.
When death is impending or does occur, the immediate family is under much emotional stress and time pressure without the support of the extended family and friends as in India. Seniors should recognize that all good things do come to an end and should plan and take steps during their twilight years to enable the survivors to cope with the loss, and carry out the needed tasks with relative ease. Such plans and actions to be done by the Senior and the family, while in good health, are detailed under Elder Planning. A guide to organizing the data on assets and documents is presented under Estate Data Organizer.
There are a number of ritual and legal tasks that need to be done by the survivors when death does occur. These are detailed under After Death Tasks.
We expect to update and improve this information periodically. If you have questions or suggestions about the Senior Support Group or if you wish to participate as a volunteer, please call 206/805-9076.