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

Golden Gazette

Golden Gazette newsletter banner graphic

2021 September

Feature Articles

Sandy HyltonPickleball is Fun, Friendly and Competitive
Sandy Hylton thought pickleball was just as silly as its name and nothing to consider seriously. Four years later, Sandy is the reigning champion at the Minto U.S. Open Pickleball Championships in the 60-plus age group. Check out this article to find out how this retired Fairfax County Public School teacher found a love for the sport and why she recommends it everyone.

Fairfax County Emergency Health Profile, Create Your Free Personal Health Profile, So Fairfax County 9-1-1 and other first responders can better help you during an emergencyEmergency Health Profile – Tell 9-1-1 the Rest of the Story
Communicating essential medical information to 9-1-1 during a crisis is always helpful and often can be the difference between life and death. Remembering all the details of your health situation and relaying it to 9-1-1 is difficult on a normal day and is nearly impossible during an emergency crisis. Learn how to quickly give 9-1-1 the “rest of your story.” Check out this article for information about the Emergency Health Profile and how to sign-up today!

Hunger Action Month

Fairfax County Stuff the Bus Fight Hunger in Our NeighborhoodsFight Hunger in Fairfax with Stuff the Bus
(Article by Gwen Jones, Department of Neighborhood and Community Services)

Stuff the Bus has announced that their next food drive will take place on Saturday, Sept. 11, in honor of the National Day of Service. Donations can be made at 21 locations throughout Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. Help fight hunger and feed hope in our community by donating. For updates and the latest Stuff the Bus information, including donation locations, most requested food items and more, visit

Having Difficulty Preparing Meals?
(Article from the Department of Family Services)

The Meals on Wheels nutrition program provides home delivered nutrition services targeted to persons 60 years of age or older as well as younger individuals who may have a disability and are temporarily unable to prepare meals for themselves due to illness or accident. Weekly meals are available for in-home delivery. Priority is given to older individuals with the greatest economic and social need with special emphasis on low-income minority individuals, older individuals with limited English proficiency, and individuals at risk for institutional placement. The program is targeted to support eligible adults to remain independent in their own homes with support by this program. The meals program currently provides a weekly, contact-free meal delivery of 11 flash frozen meals. Meals are delivered one time per week. Apply by calling the Department of Family Services 703-324-5409.

person hands pushing grocery shopping cartAre You Eligible for SNAP?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can be used like cash to buy food from authorized retailers and online from Amazon and Walmart but cannot be used for delivery fees. Recipients receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer card. Your account is debited each time eligible food items are purchased. A secret Personal Identification Number is required.

Your household must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SNAP benefits. The application process can be done by computer or phone—no need to come in-person. Apply online at, or call 1-855-635-4370. For details, call the Department of Family Services Customer Care Line at 703-324-7500, TTY 711.

DIAL for Assistance

The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is available to people with disabilities looking for assistance in scheduling their COVID-19 shot. Call the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions or call 703-324-7404 for questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

Fairfax Area Commission on Aging

(Article by Jacquie Woodruff, Legislative and Policy Supervisor, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging)

The Fairfax Area Commission on Aging (COA) is an advisory board mandated by the Older Americans Act. Commissioners for the Fairfax Area Commission on Aging are appointed by the Board of Supervisors and the City Councils of the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church.

COA Meeting Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.

The COA continues to meet electronically in September.

Access Code: COA-m1234!

Live meeting audio by dialing: 888-270-9936 or 602-333-0032
Conference Code: 231525

Need ADA accommodations? Contact Hilda Naranjo by phone 703-324-7496, TTY 711 or email.

Please note that electronic meetings are scheduled due to the State of Emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Find updates online.

New Name, Same Great Service

(Article from the Department of Family Services)

The DFS Self-Sufficiency Division has a new name: Public Assistance and Employment Services (PAES). The division still offers the same important services including food, financial, medical and employment assistance, with improved and more convenient access—no need to come into an office, 24-hour document drop-off and 24-hour applications through, virtual webinars and information sessions on demand and more. PAES, which better describes services, reflects a more people-focused and customer-friendly approach. Learn more about PAES.

Upcoming Live and Virtual Medicare 101 Workshops

(Article from the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program)

Medicare 101 Workshops, led by the Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program, provide current information on Medicare options. In-person workshops have limited seating and registration for library events begin 30 days prior to the presentation date. Call the Virginia Insurance Counseling line with questions at 703-324-5851 or you can send an email.

Monday, Oct. 4, 2-3:30 p.m.
Medicare 101, Virtual and In-Person
Thomas Jefferson Library, Falls Church
Zoom: or 703-573-1060

Thursday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.-Noon, Medicare 101, Virtual
Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia 703-281-0538

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 3-4:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Reston Regional Library, Reston
Register: or 703-689-2700

Thursday, Oct. 14, Noon-1:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Reston Community Center, Reston, Contact: Cassie Lebron 703-390-6157

Tuesday, Oct. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Great Falls Library, Great Falls
Register: or 703-757-8560

Friday, Oct. 22, 3-4:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual and In-Person
Kings Park Library, Burke
Zoom: or 703-978-5600

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 6-7:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Sherwood Regional Library, Alexandria

Thursday, Oct. 28, 6-8 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Reston Community Center, Reston, Contact: Cassie Lebron 703-390-6157

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2-3:30 p.m., Medicare 101, In-Person
Great Hall, Vienna Presbyterian Church, Vienna, Contact: Charles Geschiere 703-938-9050 x151

Monday, Nov. 8, 4-5:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual and In-Person
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, Falls Church
Zoom: or 703-790-4018

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 3-4:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Kingstowne Library, Alexandria
Register: or 703-339-4610

Monday, Nov. 15, Noon-1:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual and In-Person
Green Acres Center, Fairfax, Contact: Anne Chase 703-273-6090 or email

Friday, Nov. 19, 2-3:30 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Reston Community Center, Reston, Contact: Cassie Lebron 703-390-6157

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 1:30-3 p.m., Medicare 101, Virtual
Burke Centre Library, Burke

National Preparedness Month

(Article from the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management)

National Preparedness month occurs every September. It is designed to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies. Here is a weekly plan for you to use:

Sept. 1-4: Make A Plan. How you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster?

Sept. 5-11: Build A Kit. Gather supplies for everyone in your home, including those with unique needs and pets.

Sept. 12-18: Prepare for Disasters. Know what disasters affect your area. Buy insurance with an inventory of your personal belongings.

Sept. 19-25: Teach Youth About Preparedness Talk to your grandkids about preparing for emergencies and what to do if you are separated.

For information, visit Ready.Gov/September. Find CERG online.

Caregiving Alert Notifications Win Top Honors

(Article by Giuliana Valencia, Social Services Specialist, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging)

older adult hugging parent outsideThe Fairfax Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce that its Fairfax Caregiver Alert Notifications program received a 2021 Aging Innovations Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. It is the highest honor presented to member agencies. The Fairfax Caregiver Alert Notifications enables family caregivers to remain informed, obtain education, and access programs and services offered by the Area Agency on Aging and other Fairfax County departments via text messages, emails and/or voice communication.

To subscribe to the Fairfax Caregiver Alert Notifications and receive information about existing and upcoming workshops, webinars, and other supportive services, visit and create or sign into your Fairfax Alerts account. Next select Area Agency on Aging and you’re done.

Preparing for the Increased Cost of Caregiving

The costs of caregiving can be enormous and are typically a stressor that causes tension for families. Learn appropriate methods to evaluate your situation and then decide which financial option is best to pay for care while preserving quality of life for the whole family. Wednesday, Sept. 22, Noon-1 p.m. This webinar will be presented by Arvette Reid, Signature Estate and Investment Advisors. Register at 703-324-5484.

Memory Engagement with Arts and Crafts

Participants will be led through purposeful memory engagement with arts and crafts. It is intended for family caregivers with loved ones living with a cognitive impairment or any type of dementia. Join us and learn new skills to add to your caregiving toolbox. All arts and crafts supplies are readily available at your home. This session will be held on Friday, Sept. 10, 2-3 p.m. It is presented by Cate McCarty, Ph.D. Register online or call 703-324-5484.

Art Therapy: Healing Through Art

Art therapy is a field that combines the visual arts and the psychotherapeutic relationship to provide mental health support. During this presentation you will learn more about how art therapy has been used at the Lorton Workhouse, Military in the Arts initiative and have an opportunity to engage in the creative process. This workshop is Friday, Sept. 24, 2-3 p.m., and presented by Alyssa Goggan, art therapist, The Workhouse Art Center. Register online or call 703-324-5484.

Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders

When You Care for Someone with Parkinson’s: A Virtual Mini-Conference for Family and Professional Caregivers is on Thursday, Sept.30, free, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Go to Topics include Parkinson’s 101 for Caregivers, Medical and Nonmedical Treatments, plus Senior Living Options with virtual exhibit hall. Contact: Sonia Gow or 703-375-9987.

Become a Dementia Friend!

Dementia Friendly Fairfax is an initiative to bring awareness and support for those living with dementia and their care partners. One-hour virtual Dementia Friends information sessions are the first Friday of each month at 1 p.m. and the third Thursday of each month at 10 a.m. Learn more at

The Well Spouse Association

A nonprofit membership organization, Well Spouse Association advocates for and addresses the needs of individuals caring for a chronically ill and/or disabled spouse or partner. The association offers peer-to-peer support and education for health care professionals and the general public about the challenges and issues “well” spouses face. Individuals can join the Facebook and Reddit groups for free, and there are resources on its website, but beyond that everything is membership-based.

The Well Spouse Association coordinates a national network of peer support groups and many other benefits. Learn more at

The local support group facilitators are Richard Faircloth and Terri Corcoran. They meet twice a month by Zoom. Contact Richard by email for new information and to be added to an email list with meeting announcements.

Family Councils are Empowering

(Article by Camden Doren, Social Services Specialist, Ombudsman Program, Department of Family Services)

Families of nursing home residents have the right to form and hold regular organized group meetings called a family council. These councils provide families an opportunity to meet privately with other families to discuss and consolidate common concerns about their loved ones, come up with ideas on how to address issues, and present their concerns and ideas to facility staff. Each nursing facility must provide the family council with space to meet privately and must provide a designated staff person responsible for helping and responding to written requests that result from the family council meetings.

Virginia law does not provide specific rights to family councils in assisted living facilities. However, regulations for assisted living facilities do state that a resident council may extend its membership to family members, advocates, friends, and others. If your loved one’s assisted living facility does not have a family council, talk to the facility staff about starting one. Find information about family councils.

As a mandated program under the Older Americans Act, the Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (NVLTCOP) is called on to assist residents and consumers to advocate for their rights to ensure quality of care and life. For more information about family councils or other nursing facility and assisted living concerns, email or call 703-324-5861, TTY 711.

Tried and True Exercises Plus New Game for Fall Prevention 

(Article from ElderLink, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, Department of Family Services)

Bingo + Gentle Exercises = Bingocize, Tuesday, Sept. 7-Nov. 16, 2-3 p.m., Free.
Group meets twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Bingocize is a program that combines the game of bingo with fall prevention exercises (seated or standing). Come play bingo, win prizes, and meet new people while learning about techniques to reduce falls and increase activity. Classes offered in person: City of Falls Church Senior Center: 223 Little Falls St., Falls Church. Contact Dianne Duke, ElderLink, at 703-324-7721 or register online.

Walk with Ease, Sept. 30-Nov. 4, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Free.
This program, created by the Arthritis Foundation, allows you to walk at your own pace three times a week. Class will meet weekly to discuss successes, challenges, encourage one another, and learn information to stay healthy. Receive free guidebook and access to online resources. Class is offered via Zoom. Contact Dianne Duke at 703-324-7721 or register online.

A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls, Sept. 22-Nov. 10, 10 a.m.-Noon, Free. This award-winning, evidence-based program is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Learn fall prevention strategies, connect with others, and exercise to strengthen balance, flexibility, and coordination. Vienna Community Center, Vienna. To register, call Vienna Community Center at 703-255-6360.

Adult Day Health Care Reopens

(Article from Department of Neighborhood and Community Services)

Fairfax County Health Department Adult Day Health Care, Schedule a Virtual Consultation with Our Nurse, Schedule Today graphicFairfax County’s Adult Day Health Care reopened its Lewinsville location on Monday, Aug. 23. The Herndon Harbor, Lincolnia and Mount Vernon locations will reopen Tuesday, Sept. 7.

The service offers daytime care to older adults with physical limitations or memory issues. It has been suspended since March of 2020 due to the pandemic.

“We are confidently and safely reopening at this time and look forward to welcoming our participants back home,” said Natalia Giscombe-Simons, adult day health care program manager. “This pandemic has taken a toll on older adults. After so much time in isolation, our participants will be able to enjoy the social, health, and wellness benefits of our service once again.”

Adult Day Health Care leaders say that expanded community vaccination—particularly among the older adult population—combined with implementation of new, best practice COVID-19 mitigation standards, have created a reliable, safe, and healthy environment for participants.

Returning participants and their caregivers can expect the same, high-quality and customized program they enjoyed before the pandemic.

“Our service provides ‘patient-centered care’ which means we adapt to meet the needs of each participant. This includes everything—daily exercise, social activities, games and programs, and health care,” said Natalia.

The patient-centered care approach is applied to the enhanced health and safety protocol Adult Day Health Care has in place. This includes required wearing of masks, social distancing guidelines, and adaptive activities.

The centers always followed a strict protocol for deep cleaning and disinfection, but now this has been elevated even more to include enhanced cleaning of high contact areas, door handles, counter tops, hand railings, and other high-touch areas in between center activities. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the centers, with distribution occurring regularly. The centers are professionally cleaned each night.

Health care monitoring, another Adult Day Health Care program cornerstone, is also elevated with new procedures in place to ensure there is no infection spread should a participant fall ill. Additionally,  caregivers will be required to complete a daily health screen for the participant each day they are at the center.

For more information about Adult Day Health Care, including new participant enrollment, and virtual consultations, go online or call 703-246-8743.

Come on In! Fairfax County Senior Centers Reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 7

(Article from the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services)

Mark your calendars! On Tuesday, Sept. 7, most Fairfax County Senior Centers will fully reopen, returning to pre-pandemic days and hours of operation and offering daily instructor and staffed programs and classes. Senior programming will also resume at Gum Springs and Mott Community Centers. Fairfax Senior Centers are recreation centers for active adults ages 50 and over.

Along with offering in-person classes at the centers, senior center staff will support virtual programming by streaming some of the center’s classes using Zoom so that participants can join the activities from home or from other senior centers.

Senior Center Hours in Fairfax County

Bailey’s Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Herndon Senior Center, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Hollin Hall Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed for renovation; reopening Sept. 27.)

James Lee Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Kingstowne Center for Active Adults, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lewinsville Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lincolnia Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Little River Glen Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Lorton Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pimmit Hills Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Closed; reopening date to be announced.)

Providence Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

South County Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sully Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Wakefield Senior Center, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Get the latest information about senior centers.

Meaningful Ways to Volunteer and Help Our Community

(Article by Tanya Erway, Volunteer Solutions Recruitment Coordinator, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging)

Volunteer Solutions

Would you like to explore opportunities to improve the lives of older adults, adults with disabilities and family caregivers? Volunteer Solutions offers opportunities to help in one-on-one or group settings. Here are just a few ways you may make a positive difference:

  • Take an older adult grocery shopping or drive them to a medical appointment.
  • Provide friendly conversation or play cards with someone who would enjoy socializing.
  • Share your love of sewing, pottery, crafts,  painting, dance, yoga, or other exercise with a group at a Fairfax County Senior Center.
  • Go online for Volunteer Solutions’ latest volunteer opportunities. Email or call the intake line at 703-324-5406 with questions.
Haven of Northern Virginia

Haven of Northern Virginia is committed to offering compassion, support, information, and resources to the bereaved and seriously ill. Volunteers are trained in aspects related to the grieving process. They are needed to answer phones, lead groups, and provide individual and administrative support. For details, go to To volunteer, call 703-941-7000. Volunteers must complete a 30-hour training. The next one will be held in early winter.

Help PRS Transform Lives

PRS provides behavioral health, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services. They seek compassionate volunteers with a familiarity or willingness to understand the challenges that can be faced by the community members they serve. Volunteers make it possible for PRS to transform more lives by providing more services to those in need. Volunteers can support PRS in a variety of ways: long term, short term, one-time, in groups, or youth volunteer opportunities. Training is provided. Learn more details at or call 703-536-9000.

You can also help PRS continue to meet the needs of the community by making a gift at

Befriend-A-Child Program

The Department of Family Services is seeking mentors throughout Fairfax County to mentor a child between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Male applicants and bilingual English-Spanish speakers are highly encouraged to apply. Mentors must be able to make a two-year commitment, spending at least eight hours every month with their mentee and participating in monthly group outings. If you are looking for a fun way to fill your time while also making a positive impact on a child in your community then this opportunity is for you! To learn more or apply, visit online or contact Tiffani Peguese by email or call 703-324-7072.

Body Safety Program

The Department of Family Services’ Body Safety Program needs volunteer instructors to help combat incidences of child abuse and neglect. Volunteers provide elementary students with the tools they need to prevent or interrupt child abuse and exploitation. If you have availability during the day, feel comfortable in a classroom, and want to empower children, this opportunity is for you. Facilitators are trained. Visit online or contact Francesca Watson by email or 703-324-7459

If you’d like to advertise volunteer opportunities, send an email to Tanya Erway, Volunteer Solutions recruitment coordinator.

Find Area Shepherd Centers

The Shepherd Centers are a non-profit organization sponsored by local area congregations, community groups, and individuals to serve adults 50 years and older.

Its primary purpose is to assist older adults to live independently in their homes and to offer programs for enrichment and socialization. They also provide transportation service. You must apply for the transportation service. Once accepted into the service, a request for a ride must be five days in advance.

The centers are also seeking volunteers. Call or email specific sites for information on what is available.

  • Annandale/Springfield 703-941-1419,
  • Fairfax/Burke 703-323-4788,
  • McLean/Arlington/Falls Church 703-506-2199, 
  • Oakton/Vienna/Reston/Herndon/Great Falls 703-281-0538,
  • South County 703-799-0505, email
  • Western Fairfax County 703-246-5920,

Local Nonprofit Driving Programs

A medical appointment or trip to the pharmacy is a challenge if you no longer drive. Consider becoming a volunteer driver or office assistant/ride scheduler through one of these organizations.

Herndon Village Network

Mount Vernon at Home

Reston Community Center

Volunteerfest Day of Service

VolunteerFest, a countywide day of service to honor 9/11, will be held Saturday, Sept. 11. This year’s event will feature both in-person and virtual, at-home service opportunities to ensure that everyone who wants to participate can find a way to get involved. Want to help? Additional information is available at with updates to come.

Volunteer at Twin Lakes Golf Course

Fairfax County Park Authority is looking for volunteers to help at Twin Lakes Golf Course in Clifton. Time commitment is one day a week for a week for a six-hour shift between sunrise and sunset. Duties include assisting golfers, coordinating the flow of play with the course marshal and/or the clubhouse, managing the tee sheet and more. A driver’s license is required. For more information about this opportunity, please send an email to Shannon White, RSVP volunteer coordinator.

Community Calendar

Sept.–Oct., Mornings, Coed Fall Softball, Northern Virginia Senior Softball, Nottoway Park, Braddock Park
Play coed slow pitch softball on one of 26 teams that are ranked by three skill levels. Play is on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Nottoway Park, Vienna or Braddock Park, Clifton. Call Dave Scheele at 703-663-7881 or visit for more details and registration cost.

Sept.–May, Mornings, 55+ John Webber Senior Bowling League, Annandale Bowling Center and Falls Church Bowl America
Join this fun coed league for the 55+ crowd. Annandale Bowling Center, Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and the Falls Church Bowl America on Fridays at 10 a.m. New season begins Labor Day week and runs through May. Contact Jim Allison, league president, at 703-323-8132 for sign up details.

Thursday, Sept. 9, 10-11:30 a.m., Downsizing, Free, Vienna Community Center
Seminar to plan for downsizing. Some topics to be discussed: decluttering rooms, organizing, and selling your home. Another subject is researching future home options involving different types of living and levels of care. Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St., SE. Call 703-255-6360.

Tuesday, Sept. 14, 7-8:30 p.m., Mary Buckingham Lipsey: Almost Forgotten Women, Free, Patrick Henry Library
Mary Buckingham Lipsey will talk about her book "Almost Forgotten Women: Yesterday's Headliners." This book includes the stories of more than 60 women between the years of 1840 and 1940 who made a difference. these diverse women were famous as contributors in a man's world and making a real difference in their fields.

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1-3 p.m., Using Genealogy to Tell the Story of NYC’s Irish Famine Immigrants, Mount Vernon Genealogical Society, Zoom, Free
Historian Tyler Anbinder will discuss using genealogical research to tell the story of Irish immigration during the Great Famine. Register by Sept. 15 for this free Zoom event by emailing

Saturday, Sept. 25, Reston Multicultural Festival, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Lake Anne Plaza, Free
The Reston Multicultural Festival celebrates Reston’s rich diversity through song, dance,  food, and art. Dress in attire that shares pride in your cultural roots. Lake Anne Plaza, 1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston.

Access the print version of this month's newsletter.*

Check out the past newsletters.

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*Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-7948 or TTY 711.

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