Department of Family Services - Older Adults

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 708
Fairfax, VA 22035

Trina Mayhan-Webb,
Division Director

Fairfax Area Commission on Aging Meeting Minutes - May 2018


Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Sully District Governmental Center
4900 Stonecroft Boulevard, Richard Frank Room, Chantilly, VA 20151


Commissioners Present
Kay Larmer (Chair), Carolyn Sutterfield (Vice Chair), Tom Bash, Cathy Cole (on phone), Sharron Dreyer, Steve Gurney, Joe Heastie, Cathy Muha, Mike Perel

Commissioners Absent
Kathy Hoyt, Patrick Sprouse

Staff Present
Trina Mayhan-Webb, Jacquie Woodruff, Fatmata Mustapha

Others Present
Audrey Morton, Human Services Council; Blanca Calvi, Virginia Hospital; Paul Wexler, Service Source; D. Morrell, Resident; Patricia Rohrer, Fairfax County Health Department; Linda Hernandez-Giblin, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging; Evan Braff, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services

Call to Order; Additions to Agenda; Approval of the Agenda; Approval of the Minutes
Chair Kay Larmer called the meeting to order at 1 p.m. Kay welcomed the members of the public and invited attendees to introduce themselves.

Carolyn requested that discussion about meeting-in-a-box questions be added to the agenda. Sharron motioned that the amended agenda be approved. Cathy Muha seconded. Carolyn motioned that the draft minutes be approved. Mike seconded.

Public Comment
No public comment.

50+ Community Action Plan Strategizing – Approaches to Focus Groups and Online Surveys
Kay led the COA in discussion. Commissioners discussed the topic areas of the current 50+ Community Action Plan. The COA reviewed their earlier brainstorming and strategizing discussions, including the following:

  • Discussed BOS requests.
  • Reviewed current 50+ Community Action Plan, including successful and less successful initiatives.
  • Reviewed best practices across the U.S.
  • Discussed possible approaches for information gathering:
    • 1st Plan – Developed through Fairfax County departments;
    • 2nd Plan – Developed through community forums;
    • 3rd Plan – To be developed through meeting-in-a-box with focus groups and others.
  • Developed a list of possible focus groups.
  • Discussed possible initiatives/structural approaches to be considered after information-gathering phase and reviewed previous BOS and COA discussions regarding the next iteration of the 50+ Plan.

Trina stated that Supervisor Herrity asked the COA to think outside of the box, to put Fairfax County on map that doesn't exist yet.

Audrey Morton stated that she sees a need to broaden understanding of aging. Her impression is that Fairfax County is less age-friendly than some other communities she has visited. Some friends who use wheelchairs find visiting restaurants a challenge.

Evan Braff stated that Supervisor Herrity issued a Board matter for an older adult community needs assessment survey.

Cathy Muha stated that it would be useful to have data available by magisterial district.

Joe suggested that there might be collaboration opportunities with other jurisdictions.

COA recommendations for the information-gathering phase include the following:

  • Use new approaches for gathering input:
    • Meeting-in-a-Box Approach (modeled on the successful Parks model);
    • Info gathering through a SurveyMonkey survey asked in focus groups and disseminated to as many groups as possible through the 50+ Community Ambassadors, etc. (Parks used survey questions and also a ranking of priorities.);
    • Provide the same survey online.
  • Develop a list of possible focus groups/key informants, including 50+ Community Ambassadors; Aging, Disability, and Caregiver Resources Line Social Workers; Volunteer Solutions Friendly Visitors (to isolated older adults); Faith Communities; and relevant Boards, Authorities, and Commissions.
  • Goal to provide more focus on fewer initiatives.

In addition to public input, possible options to be considered for inclusion in the next Plan include the following:

  • Dementia-Friendly Fairfax. (Herndon has completed a pilot and would like to expand to all magisterial jurisdictions. Insight Memory Care has agreed to be the umbrella organization for the effort.)
  • Survey through paid vendor could be used to inform the Plan.
  • Consider funding needs.
  • Identify initiative champions.
  • Evaluate proposed initiatives by age category.
  • Data analysis by magisterial districts.
  • Possibly collaborate with other jurisdictions.
  • Initiatives related to the following:
    • Better aging through technology;
    • Loneliness and isolation (Campaign to End Loneliness);
    • Intergenerational (Generations of Hope; Genesis; Cycling Without Age; Best Intergenerational Community Award);
    • End-of-life life planning;
    • Mental Health;
    • Finances;
    • Food insecurity;
    • Age-friendly and walkability audits;
    • Helping older drivers stay safe when buying a vehicle;
    • Innovative technology in transportation services (TNCs);
    • Universal design best practices;
    • Develop voice assistants for access to help caregivers;
    • AARP Livability Index.

Old Business
Mike reported that the county is exploring installing empathy-targeting signs at county buildings.

Kay reported that the Health Care Advisory Board (HCAB) convened an initial meeting for a task force to review the proposed ordinance amendments. Kay chaired the meeting. Representatives from the COA, HCAB, Area Agency on Aging, Long Term Care Coordinating Council, Disabilities Services Board, Department for Housing and Community Development, and Department of Planning and Zoning were represented. Kay, Carolyn, Sharron, Trina, and Jacquie attended the meeting. Affordable housing concerns and oversight of unlicensed small group homes were discussed. The committee will meet again in June.

The Northern Virginia Aging Network voted on legislative and budget items to be included in their 2019 legislative platform. Platform language will be approved at the next NVAN meeting.

Evan Braff reported that the Creative Aging Festival, a 50+ Plan initiative, will be held throughout the month of May. Lorton Workhouse Arts and the City of Fairfax are new partners this year. The Arts Council of Fairfax County identified three corporate sponsors. Cathy Muha attended a fabulous festival event led by a drummer storyteller from Ghana.

The BOS Reception "Shark Tank" Reception and BOS Recognition for the 50+ "Shark Tank" Assistive Technology Challenge winners will be held on June 5. INTEGRITYOne Partners will present the high school student winners with a total of $5,000 in cash prizes.

The September COA meeting date has been changed to September 12.

Director's Report
Trina reported that the 50+ Community Action Plan and the 2017 50+ Annual Report are now on the county website.

A CarFit event will be held at the Pennino Building on May 19. Mike will assist with car fittings.

New Business
Tom shared an article about the granny pod housing movement that is growing on the West Coast.

The COA officer slate will be identified at the June meeting, and the officer election will be held at the July meeting. Kay will step down as chair. Carolyn has expressed interest in being on the ballot for chair, and Mike has expressed interest in being on the list for the vice chair position. Other nominations are welcome.

Steve announced that he will not extend his term on the COA because of his other professional schedule conflicts. He hopes to help Supervisor Hudgins locate a replacement.

Sharron asked for information about the fire at Forest Glen senior apartments and stated that Green Spring residents might want to help. Trina and Evan reported that the Department of Family Services, the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, and the Department of Housing and Community Development have been working together to assist the 141 residents displaced from 80 units. County staff has been present at the hotel seven days per week. Western Fairfax Christian Ministries is accepting monetary donations and gift cards.

Kay announced that Supervisor Herrity nominated Springfield Commissioner Tom Bash for a Community Champion Award. She read from the press release:

"In May of 2011, Tom Bash was appointed by Supervisor Herrity to serve as Springfield’s Commissioner of the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging. Since then, Tom has been a tireless advocate for all 50+ related needs working on various projects. Most noteworthy includes implementing the 50+ Community Action Plan. This includes 31 initiatives regarding housing, transportation, community engagement, and other services. Tom has collaborated with local partners and staff on webpages, criminal exploitation awareness, and a real-time online transit data portal. He has also worked vigorously on an alternative to Metro-Access that would provide on-demand, quality service to people with disabilities. His reach of service also includes volunteering on the Fairfax County Disability Services Board and with nine other local organizations."

"I am proud to call Tom Bash my 2018 Volunteer Fairfax Community Champion," said Supervisor Herrity. "He does not take 'no' for an answer and continues to pursue all avenues to make Fairfax County the best place to live, work, and play."

Joe motioned that the meeting be adjourned. Mike seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 2:40 p.m.

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