New Program to Prevent Falls and Help Older Adults Live Independently
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
Feb. 14, 2007
County Launches New Program to Prevent
Falls and Help Older Adults Live Independently
Fairfax County is launching a new pilot program for older residents and adults with disabilities in the Franconia-Rose Hill area to help them continue to live independently — and safely — in their own homes. The program, “Independent Living,” features free, fall-prevention workshops, in-home safety consultations and exercise classes.
“With the number of seniors living in the county expected to grow by 80 percent, we are committed to helping people grow older gracefully in their own homes,” said Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Beginning on Thursday, Feb. 15, in the Franconia-Rose Hill area, a series of free, 30-minute, fall-prevention workshops will be offered:
- Feb. 15, 12:30 p.m., Franconia Senior Center, 6300 Beulah Road
- Feb. 20, 2:30 p.m., Lee District RECenter, 6601 Telegraph Road
- Feb. 24, 8 a.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 5952 Franconia Road
- March 6, 11:30 a.m., Lighthouse Baptist Church, 5901 Wilton Road (off Franconia)
- March 30, 10 a.m., Virginia Hills Baptist Church, 6507 Telegraph Road
Registration is required for these workshops; call 703-324-7210, TTY
The classes will be taught by the county’s Fire and Rescue Department, and senior centers and neighborhood churches are providing classroom space.
“I am very pleased to see Fairfax County taking a proactive approach to helping our seniors keep their independence,” said Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman, who chairs the Board of Supervisors’ Aging Committee. “Workshops to reduce the risk of falling and free exercise classes are cost-effective, practical approaches to keeping seniors in their homes.”
Upon request, participants can schedule a free in-home consultation to identify potential safety risks and to provide information about equipment and services that might be helpful. The first 25 people to request an in-home review will receive a $25 grocery store gift certificate for Safeway or Giant. These consultations are being provided by the county’s Department of Family Services.
A grant from the Virginia Department of Health will help cover the cost of exercise classes and some assistive equipment — such as transfer benches, grab rails and hand-held shower heads — if a need is identified through an in-home assessment.
Free exercise classes also will be offered by the county’s Department of Community and Recreation Services and Inova Health System. The classes will focus on improving balance, building strength and preventing falls.
“Independent Living,” is a public-private partnership program between faith communities in the Franconia-Rose Hill area and county and state government agencies, including Elderlink, Options for Caregiving; Fairfax County Community and Recreation Services; Fairfax County Department of Family Services’ Adult and Aging Division; Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department; Fairfax County Health Department; Inova Health System and Virginia Department of Health.
The program will be expanded to other areas of the county later this year.
To register for a workshop, schedule a safety consultation, find out about upcoming exercise classes, request reasonable ADA accommodations, or get more information about the Independent Living program, call 703-324-7210, TTY 703-222-9452.
For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.