703-329-0900

Northern Virginia Senior and Caregiver Resource

I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating because the resource can be so valuable. When you have questions about resources for an elder, and no one to answer them, a good way to help your search is with the local Aging and Adult Services office in your county. They know the resources and criteria and are a great place to start when looking for options, public or private. Each county in Northern Virginia has such an office, and it is worth your while to keep their number. Here they are:

City of Alexandria

Senior Services of Alexandria

703-836-4414

Arlington County

Aging and Disability Services

703-228-1700

Fairfax County

Fairfax County Services for Older Adults

703-324-7948


Falls Church City

Adult and Aging Services

703-324-5411

or contact

Fairfax County Services for Older Adults

703-324-7948


Loudoun County

Aging Programs and Services

703-777-0257


Prince William County

Prince William County Area Agency on Aging

703-792-6374

A Better Option for Senior Drivers

When an older driver reaches the time that he needs to stop doing so, perhaps what would make the process easier is having a good option for getting around. After all, in the U.S., driving a car is a mode of independence, and giving that up is a huge step. But there are options in communities around the U.S. We just need a way to find them.

Katherine Freund has a way. She founded the Independent Transportation Network (ITN), to do just that. The service is currently available in 27 cities, and provides senior riders an affordable transportation option. No money changes hands in the vehicle. Instead, riders use ride credits to pay for their trips. In some cases, the adult children of the seniors are earning the credits for their parent by being a volunteer driver for someone else. Another plus of this service over many other transportation options are that drivers provide senior riders “arm-through-arm service, and door-through-door service, as well as help with packages. And it is not just for medical appointments. Whether it be church, groceries, social activities or other kinds of fun, it’s all part of the service. Here is the link to ITNAmerica.

Graphic courtesy of Designed by Freepik.

Tips for Working with Caregiving Aides

David Troxel, the well-known author of the “Best Friends Approach to Alzheimer’s Care,” and an Alzheimer’s caregiver himself, tells a story of how he taught his mother’s caregiving aides how to prepare afternoon tea.

This article first appeared at BrightFocus.org and can be read in its entirety here.

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Always a painful and difficult subject to even think about, elder abuse and neglect is all too common, and Sunday, June 15th is designated World Elder Abuse Day to create awareness of this global problem.  Tools are available to help us learn about, identify and find help for this problem.

The Administration for Community Living, within the Department of Health and Human Services this week released the following tools:

  • To learn the signs and risk factors for elder abuse and neglect, download the Red Flags of Abuse Factsheet (PDF).
  • You can help raise awareness in your community!  The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Tool Kit has resources to help you do that – plan events, educate others, empower people to action.
  • To report suspected elder abuse, contact your local adult protective services agency.  Or, for state reporting phone numbers, contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

 

 

Talking with a Senior About Driving – Call in the Supports

At this time of year, with holidays and family gatherings, we often notice things in an elder’s daily life that we may not have noticed before.  Perhaps you are visiting and notice dents or scratches on the car your parent drives.   Or they’ve had a recent medical event and you wonder if the driving  should stop.  There are numerous ways to approach the conversation, and one that I noticed about a year ago on a popular TV show – Blue Bloods, was especially good.  The episode – “Greener Grass” – included a storyline about this subject.  Henry, the patriarch of the family, had some dents and scratches on his car and his son, Frank (played by Tom Selleck), brought it up.  He was obviously uncomfortable as he did this, and it wasn’t long before the conversation erupted into a shouting match.  There was no resolution that day, and after much worrying, Frank brought his daughter into the discussion with Grandpa.  They all sat down again and with Erin’s help this time, were able to get through the discussion.  It was a touching scene, and one that is worth looking up for some ideas about discussing this subject.  The episode is “Greener Grass,” which is from Season 3, Episode 6 of Blue Bloods on CBS.

November 2013 is National Family Caregivers Month – A Few Statistics

This is National Family Caregivers Month, a month we stop to remember and honor those who give tirelessly on behalf of a person needing care.  They may be caring for an elder, a child or adult with special needs, or an injured veteran of a recent war.  National Caregivers Month is a small way to celebrate their work on behalf of those who need daily assistance.  Here are some interesting facts and figures from the National Alliance for Caregiving:

There are an estimated 65.7 million caregivers in the U.S;

They work an average of 20 hours per week providing care;

Thirty percent of the U.S. population is providing care to a family member or friend at any given time;

U.S. families are collectively spending $450 billion annually to support their care recipient family member or friend.