New Study Applauds Fairfax County for Innovative Ideas
Fairfax County Office of
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
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Oct. 11, 2006
New Study Applauds Fairfax County for Innovative Ideas to Serve an Increasingly Aging Population
“The Maturing of America – Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population,” a new study funded by the MetLife Foundation and recently released by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging recognizes Fairfax County as a national leader in efforts to plan for the needs of the exploding population of aging Baby Boomers.
Fairfax County is singled out in the study as one of 10 communities in the nation with “great ideas” for serving its increasingly aging population.
The county reorganized its home care service delivery system to a “cluster care” model, which aligns services around “naturally occurring retirement communities.” Cluster care has three components: task-based home care, volunteer services and home-delivered meals. Volunteers link isolated adults with the community and provide needed assistance with daily tasks. Many clients need help with grocery shopping, transportation, light housekeeping and yard work. Others receive social visits or telephone calls from a friendly volunteer.
In just one year, the county was able to recruit, train and match more than 40 volunteers with seniors whose home care services are now being provided in the cluster care model. This summer the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging awarded the “Aging Innovations Award” to the county’s Cluster Care Volunteer Program, recognizing it as one of six “cutting-edge and successful programs” from across the country.
“We are committed in Fairfax County to helping our older residents live safely and independently in their homes,” said Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Connolly commended those who volunteer their time to help reach that goal. “This county is very fortunate to have so many outstanding volunteers helping our older neighbors with daily tasks and keeping them connected with the community.”
In May, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Aging Committee began meeting, chaired by Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman, to examine the various challenges the county faces as its population ages – from housing and transportation to health care and public safety – and develop a comprehensive policy to address them.
“As a board, we finally faced the mirror and recognized that the aging face of America is up close and personal for our community; not a distant distraction,” said Kauffman. “We're committed to laying a firm foundation for an ‘Aging Friendly’ community today so our kids aren't washed away by our ‘Silver Tsunami’ tomorrow.”
Among the challenges being addressed by the board are the need to have more housing accessible to people with physical disabilities and the aging of the county government workforce.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Aging Committee will next meet on Monday, Oct. 30, at 9:30 a.m., in Conference Rooms 9/10 of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center, Fairfax.
For more information on the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, visit www.n4a.org.
For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.