50+ Action Plan: Background

October 2007

“O beautiful for patriot dream, that sees beyond the years...”

This refrain, from one of our country’s most beloved songs, America the Beautiful, was the theme of the swearing-in address in 2003. In Anticipating the Future: A Discussion of Trends in Fairfax County (PDF) (March 2006) we opened the report with this same reference and it seems fitting to do so again as we anticipate an aging-friendly county in the future – Fairfax 50+. We have challenged ourselves as a Board and the community to “see beyond the years,” to look beyond today and to do the hard work together to build our community for tomorrow.

In keeping with this spirit, the Board of Supervisors’ Committee on Aging was formed to look to the future of Fairfax County in light of our increasing older adult population: What steps must be taken to ensure that Fairfax County has the opportunities and services in place to welcome the “silver tsunami” to come?

Why 50+? Many of us in our 50s and older are the caregivers of the generations that came before. Many of us 50 and older are actively involved in our community, some retired, some not. More of us want to “age in place” where we raised our children and made our friends. For some of us, age is accompanied by needs we did not have when we were younger. For all of us, the community we are building today must become the community we want to live in as we grow older.

Committee members have taken turns chairing discussions with experts on the impact of this demographic shift on the interdependent issues of housing, community planning, care giving, health, mental health, transportation, technology, and diversity.

This action plan is an opportunity for us to share with the public the key trends, highlight current and planned initiatives, and to set forth our agenda for the future. It is not the completion of our work – it is the beginning. A vital part of our shared success in the future will be the ongoing work of the Commission on Aging to keep this plan a living document. Every county department will also play a role in implementing the initiatives planned for the next three years and beyond that will enhance services for older adults while also tapping the talents of this valuable resource of people. A sampling of these initiatives is included in this report and the full matrix.

Those persons with specific questions should call the Planning Unit at the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging at 703-324-5403. We appreciate the superior staff work of the Department of Family Services’ Area Agency on Aging in supporting the work of our committee.

Gerry Connolly
Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Dana Kauffman
Lee District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Chair of the Board’s Committee on Aging

Joan DuBois
Dranesville District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Vice Chair of the Board’s Committee on Aging

Sharon Bulova, Braddock District Supervisor

Michael Frey, Sully District Supervisor

Penny Gross, Mason District Supervisor

Cathy Hudgins, Hunter Mill District Supervisor

Gerry Hyland, Mount Vernon District Supervisor

Elaine McConnell, Springfield District Supervisor

Linda Smyth, Providence District Supervisor

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