To the editor:
The number of older adults in Virginia is increasing rapidly. An increase of 51.4% is projected for those age 65 and above during the next two decades – to about two million by 2040, according to a LeadingAge Virginia 2018 report. That spike should be a concern for the more than 18,000 people in Alexandria who are over 65 and will need crucial healthcare services and support as they age.
November is Home Care and Hospice Month, a time to recognize and honor all the professional caregivers including home care aides, home health aides and certified nursing assistants who make an impactful difference for people who are older, live with disabilities or have complex medical needs.
Goodwin House, a not-for-profit senior housing and healthcare provider in Northern Virginia, currently employs more than 900 professional caregivers and staff. These highly dedicated and compassionate care professionals ensure that our more than 1,000 residents, 200 Goodwin House at Home members and their hospice and home health patients receive the care and support they deserve.
Our teams go above and beyond with their dedication and service, often covering for each other due to staff shortages or to help cover larger service areas. This month, we not only remember our patients who have passed during our Remembrance Day, but the community also recognizes their families as well as our caregivers who have lost a loved one.
We ask all Alexandrians to commemorate the power of caring and show thanks for caregivers who choose to use their lives to care for our aged, disabled and dying, and bring dignity to not only those in Alexandria, but throughout the Commonwealth.
-Dana Parsons, vice president and legislative counsel, LeadingAge Virginia; Andy Siegel, chief business development officer, Goodwin House