Where older adults can turn for answers

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Where older adults can turn for answers
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By Mary Lee Anderson

The good news is that Alexandria is a great place to be an older adult. Sometimes it can be difficult knowing where to turn for answers. The following information will help you know where to go for important information about the many services our city has to offer.

City services

Support for older adults and making Alexandria an age friendly community is a top-priority of City Council and the Commission on Aging. The COA’s Age Friendly Plan established goals to make our city a livable community for all ages. The COA is now working to update the plan and welcomes input on priorities for the next three years. To learn more, go to the Commission on Aging page at www. alexandriava.gov.

The city’s Division of Aging and Adult Services offers supportive home and community services for eligible adults. These include home delivery of Meals on Wheels and liquid supplements; the Adult Day Services program; in-home care; Medicare and Medicaid counseling; caregiver support and transportation. The Adult Protective Services Program is a confidential resource which guards older adults from abuse. DAAS social workers provide advice and determine what services are the best options for older residents.

The division’s Directory of Resources for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities is a terrific overview. To get an online copy and to learn more about the services DAAS provides, visit their website. To contact them, call 703- 746-5999 or email [email protected].

There are also two senior centers that offer a wide range of activities for older residents. The Charles Houston Senior Center is located within the Charles Houston Recreation Center at 901 Wythe St. in Old Town, and St. Martin de Porres is located at 4650 Taney Ave. in the West End. To learn more, contact Charles Houston at 703-746- 5456 or St. Martin at 703-751- 2766.

Alexandria Health Department/COVID-19

To keep updated about COVID-19, the Alexandria Health Department website has all the information about where to get vaccinations, boosters and testing. Free transportation for vaccination appointments is available for residents who are 60 and older through DAAS. The COVID-19 hotline number is 703-746-4988.

Housing

The Office of Housing provides a listing of affordable rental opportunities on the city website. It also offers accessibility modifications for low to moderate-income renters through the RAMP program. Visit the office online or call 703-746-4990 for more information.

Residents of the City of Alexandria who are 65 years of age or older or who are permanently and totally disabled may be eligible for the city’s Real Estate and Property Tax Relief or Deferral Program for Elderly or Disabled Persons. Details are available online or at 703-746-4800.

Employment

Older adults looking for employment opportunities should contact the Workforce Development Center to learn about their Experienced Worker 50+ Program, which provides support with updating resumes, technology training and interview skills. Visit the city’s workforce development website or call 703- 746-5889.

Recreation/fitness

The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities offers classes for those aged 55 and up, including strength training, yoga and pickleball. There are also senior programs that meet regularly at several of the city’s recreation centers. For more information go to www.alexandriava.gov/recreation and click on the senior page.

Nonprofits

There are several nonprofit organizations that support older adults. As executive director, Senior Services of Alexandria is obviously closest to my heart. We work closely with the city’s Division of Aging and other departments to offer services and programs, including Meals on Wheels, Groceries to Go, the Friendly Visitor Program and DOT Paratransit, among others. Call Senior Services of Alexandria at 703-836-4414, ext. 110.

There are also many other nonprofits in the city that focus on providing services for older adults, including:

At Home in Alexandria: This nonprofit provides programs and services for its members, including rides to doctor’s appointments and social activities. To learn more visit www.athomeinalexandria.org or call 703-231-0824.

Rebuilding Together: This local nonprofit serves Alexandria and Washington, D.C. by repairing homes for low-income adults. To learn more about their services go to www.rebuildingtogetherdca.org or call 703-836-1021.

As you can see, Alexandria is a great place to grow old with a supportive community providing valuable programs and services. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

The writer is executive director of Senior Services of Alexandria.

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