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,

Golden Gazette

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2023 June

Featured Articles

Photo of Dorothy Keenan standing in front of a fireplace in her home.Dorothy Keenan: Finding Purpose is Key to a Happy Retirement    
Following a long career working with older adults, Dorothy Keenan retired and embarked upon her encore career, founding and leading GrandInvolve, a nonprofit organization that places older adult volunteers as classroom helpers in Title 1 elementary schools in Fairfax County Public Schools. After leading GrandInvolve for nearly ten years, Keenan will retire for a second time in June from her position as Executive Director. Contemplating her second retirement, Keenan is excited and looking forward to what comes next. Read more.

Photo of a diverse group of adults standing shoulder to shoulder and smilingWhat You Need to Know About the SHAPE the Future of Aging Plan
In May 2023, the Board of Supervisors adopted the SHAPE the Future of Aging Plan 2023-2028. Over the next five years, this plan will guide Fairfax County, along with the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church, and community-based organizations in meeting the needs of older residents now and in future years. Read more.

Photo of an empty college classroom filled with stadium-style seating.Discover Lifelong Learning Opportunities for Older Adults 
Lifelong learners are driven by curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. No degrees are given for lifelong learning, but the benefits are numerous, including improved mental sharpness and increased self-esteem. Lifelong learning can take many forms, from joining a club or interest group, visiting museums and cultural sites, attending lectures and workshops, or returning to the classroom. Options abound in our region for older adults interested in pursuing learning opportunities. Read more.

Photo of a man kayaking alone in an unknown body of water.Staying Put This Summer? Check Out These Staycation Options
If you don’t want to brave crowded airports or sit in highway traffic, consider an alternative – a staycation! A staycation is a vacation spent at home or near home, doing fun activities and visiting local attractions. Fortunately, Fairfax County has plenty of great places to visit and things to do. The nonprofit, Visit Fairfax, suggests several ways to have fun this summer without venturing too far from home. Read more.

More Articles

Mature Living - Disability Rights and Resources

This episode explores disability resources for both older adults and adults with disabilities, as well as those who care for them. Joining Host Anne Hall is Claudia Vila, Manager of Disability Rights and Resources in the Department of Family Services. She provides a great overview on this topic, and discusses resources available for adults with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers. The Channel 16 crew visited the Wellness Center for Older Adults. It’s the first of its kind in Fairfax County and offers both virtual and in-person services for older adults and individuals with developmental disabilities. Rose Robinson, Division Manager, Long Term and Community Integration Services, as well as current clients talk about the benefit of this important resource. We round out the program with a conversation with Susan Shaw, Transportation Options, Programs, and Services Program Manager, better known as TOPS – a valuable Fairfax County resource.

Mature Living can be seen on Channel 16 or 1016 (depending on your service provider) on the following days and times:

  • Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday at 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday at 4 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Thursday at 8:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
  • Friday at 9:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.

This program can also be seen on your computer:

You can find information on services for older adults at or call 703-324-7948, TTY 711, Monday-Friday.

Summer Entertainment Series – 2023 Season

(by Ben Boxer, Fairfax County Park Authority)

Photo of a band performing on stage at an outdoor concert with audience members seated in lawn chairs and standing to watch the performance.

Summer concerts are an American tradition. In the not-so-distant past, towns and villages across the nation boasted town bands and bandstands in the village square or the park at the center of town. Music was a catalyst, drawing young and old alike to come together as a community. Outdoors, in the long twilight of warm summer nights, the concerts marked a time to relax, share a picnic supper and catch up with friends and neighbors.

The Fairfax County Park Authority has adopted this summer staple from small-town America to orchestrate a renewed sense of community in Fairfax County. The lineup for the Park Authority includes a wide array of performances from classical to bluegrass and everything in between as well as children’s performances, music and dance from around the world, and drive-in movies.

The free performances and movies are possible thanks to a strong partnership between government and business to benefit the people they serve and are funded through private donations which pay for performers fees. All other activities are implemented by the support groups combined of citizen volunteers who care for the park and its programs.

2023 Summer Entertainment Series offers the following series:

  • Arts in the Parks children’s entertainment series
  • Braddock Nights
  • Evenings on the Ellipse 
  • Franconia District Nights 
  • Hunter Mill Melodies
  • Mount Vernon Nights
  • Music at Arrowbrook Centre Park
  • Providence Presents
  • Spotlight by Starlight
  • Springfield Nights
  • Sully District Starlight Drive-in movies

We hope to see you this summer and encourage you to invite your friends and family to attend. Some series offer wine tasting and sales. 

For details regarding each series go to:

Concerts and movies are held outdoors and are cancelled due to inclement weather. Call 703-324-SHOW (7469) before leaving home for inclement weather updates. Cancellation notices are recorded one hour prior to the showtime.

Fairfax Area Commission on Aging

(by Jacquie Woodruff, 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.

At the May 17 COA meeting, the COA discussed potential community partners for SHAPE the Future of Aging Plan initiatives development. 

COA Meeting, Wednesday, June 21, 1 p.m.

In Person: Pennino Building, 12011 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA 22035 Room 200 & 206

To obtain meeting materials, visit or contact  or call 703-324-5635. For ADA accommodations, contact or call 571-407-6960 TTY: VA Relay 711.

Setting Healthy Boundaries When Caregiving

(by Allegra Joffe, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging)

Photo of an older woman smiling at a younger woman who has her hand on the older woman's shoulder.When providing care for a loved one, setting healthy boundaries can help protect caregivers’ overall well-being and preserve their relationship with their loved one. When healthy boundaries are not in place, caregivers may struggle to care for themselves physically, emotionally, and financially, which then could lead to stress and burnout. 

Here are a few examples of how to set healthy boundaries as a caregiver: 

  • Say “No.” It is okay to say “No” and offer another solution to what is being asked of you. 
  • Ask for additional help to prevent being overextended or uncomfortable in caregiving duties. 
  • Take care of your physical needs. Schedule regular check-ups, exercise, eat healthy food, and get enough sleep. 
  • Take care of your emotional needs. Enjoy hobbies and visit friends and family. 
  • Set financial limits on how much you can contribute to your loved one. 
  • Set time limits on caregiving duties. 
  • Communicate openly with your loved one about expectations and personal needs.

Family caregivers are encouraged to take some time to write down what healthy boundaries they want to implement and communicate their boundaries with loved ones. When caregivers take care of themselves, they care better for their loved ones. If you wish to learn more about caregiving resources, call our Aging, Disability, and Caregiving Resources Line at 703-324-7948 or visit  

Are you in need of additional cooling during this summer?

The Senior Cool Care Program is a public-private partnership sponsored by Dominion Energy and administered by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services through the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging that helps low-income older citizens in our jurisdiction keep cool during summer months. The program runs from May 1 through October 31, 2023. The program provides additional cooling at home, for eligible older adults, age 60 and older. If you are interested in the program, email or phone 703-324-2019.

Creative Engagement: How to Use Your Right and Left Brain to Improve Your Sense of Well-being
Friday, June 9, Noon-1 p.m.

During this interactive intergenerational workshop for the whole family, Patricia Dubroof, Creative Aging Specialist at Assisting Hands Home Care, will lead a left/right brain warmup and demonstrate a simple, hands-on art project to create individualized note cards. To participate in this fun event, you will need paper and either pencils, pens or markers – or all of the above! Online registration: or call 703-324-2019

Virtual Dementia Friends Information Session
Wednesday, June 14, Noon-1:15 p.m.

Join this presentation and learn how to become a dementia friend and turn your new understanding of dementia into a practical action that can help someone living in your community. Presented by Allegra Joffe, Social Services Specialist with Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, and Diane Watson, Dementia Friends Champion Volunteer. Online registration: or call 703-324-2019.

Presente! A Latino History of the United States  
Friday, June 16, Noon-1 p.m. 

This session will be facilitated in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. The Molina Family Latino Gallery is the first physical presence of the National Museum of the American Latino and the first dedicated museum space on the National Mall that celebrates the U.S. Latino experience. The inaugural exhibition, Presente! A Latino History of the United States tells our national history from the perspectives of the diverse Latinas/os who lived it. Join us for an introduction to the important ideas, moments, and people that shine a light on the many ways Latinas and Latinos shaped the nation. Presented by Natalia M Febo, Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator, National Museum of the American Latino, Smithsonian Institution. Online registration: or call 703-324-2019.    

Brain Fitness: Keys to Extending Independence 
Wednesday, June 21, Noon-1 p.m. 

Ellen Clarke, Ph.D. in Human Factors and Applied Cognition, will share with family caregivers how to extend independence through improved brain health. In this talk, she will go over six different, evidence-based brain health improvement techniques, and how to successfully implement them to maintain and extend the independence of both caregivers and their loved ones. These methods do not involve pharmaceuticals and can be easily applied in home and community-based settings. Online registration: or call 703-324-2019

Advocating for LGBTQ+ Elders

(by Camden Doran, Long-Term Care Ombudsman)

The Northern Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (NVLTCOP) serves a diverse population of consumers receiving long-term care (LTC) services and must be able to offer appropriate and culturally competent services to resolve issues in a way that responds to each individual. As part of the NVLTCOP’s commitment to providing inclusive services, the program maintains certification as a SAGECare Platinum credentialed organization. SAGECare credentialing includes aging LGBTQ+ cultural competency training, which supports an inclusive, person-centered approach to care and furthers the mission of the NVLTCOP to promote quality of care and life for persons receiving LTC services. For more information about SAGE advocacy and services for LGBTQ+ elders visit the SAGE website at

As a mandated program under the Older Americans Act, the NVLTCOP is a resident-directed program that is often called on to assist LTC residents and consumers to advocate on their behalf to protect their rights, dignity, choices, and self-determination. For more information about inclusive and person-centered care, or other nursing facility and assisted living concerns, please call the NVLTCOP at 703-324-5861, or contact the Ombudsman Program by email at

Staying Cool is Staying Safe

(by Carly Mullinax, Department of Emergency Management and Security)

It’s that time of year again when the weather starts to heat up and our bodies have to work overtime to beat the heat. Extreme heat has become the deadliest natural hazard in the US − even more so than hurricanes and earthquakes! Fairfax County is certainly not immune to the effects of extreme temperatures. Older adults, children, and people who are sick, pregnant, or overweight have a greater risk of overheating. Extreme heat is generally categorized as a period of at least two to three days, with temperatures at 90 degrees or above, and high humidity. Whether or not extreme heat is in the forecast, it is a good idea to prepare for it ahead of time. Below are some tips and resources on how to prepare your home and protect yourself from the heat:

  • Plan ahead and find places in your community that you may be able to visit to cool down if your cooling system at home fails. You should pick one location nearby, (like a public library or store) and one location farther away so that you have somewhere to go if there is a larger power outage in your area. 
  • Prepare your home by adding weather-strips to doors and windows to seal heat out.
  • Installing a window air conditioning unit in bedrooms is a great idea for a back-up plan. Just make sure to insulate and seal around them.
  • Fans increase airflow and may seem like a good solution, however they may actually provide a false sense of comfort. Since they do not help reduce your body temperature or prevent overheating, they should not be your only cooling method. 
  • If you are unable to afford your cooling costs, weatherization, or energy-related home repairs, contact the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help: Fairfax Libraries also have Conserve Energy Kits which have some supplies which can help you weather-proof your home and are available to Fairfax County residents at no cost! For more information on the kits, visit:

For more information on extreme heat, visit:

Volunteer to Make a Difference

(by Tanya Erway, Volunteer Solutions Recruitment Coordinator)

Are you looking for new ways to help your community? Check out the opportunities below or go to for many more.  

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Adapted Aquatics program needs volunteers to provide encouragement and assistance to children and adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Certified instructors coach everything from basic swimming and water safety to swim team practice for Special Olympics. Volunteers will get into the pool and must have basic swimming skills. Commit to a few hours per week. Each session is 6 to 10 weeks. Classes are on weekends at Rec Centers across Fairfax County. Apply at or contact Linda at to learn more.

Be the voice for a vulnerable child. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) provides volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children referred by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Volunteers must commit to their assigned child(ren) throughout the life of the case (an average of two years) and visit them twice monthly. The CASA volunteer is often the only consistent adult in the life of that child. The first step is to attend a virtual information session. Next sessions will be June 15 at 1 p.m. and June 28 at 7 p.m. Spanish speakers are also needed. Visit, or email Alexis Shield at for information. 

Volunteer Solutions offers opportunities to provide support to older adults, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers one-on-one, or in senior and adult day healthcare centers. To learn more and register go to, email, or call 703-324-5406.

The Fairfax County Park Authority needs volunteers to help at the Twin Lakes Golf Course in Clifton. Duties include assisting golfers, coordinating the pace of play as the course marshal, and managing the tee sheet. A driver’s license is required. The time commitment is one day a week (6-hour shift), between sunrise and sunset, during their regular season from March to December. For more information, contact John Mandell at

Food Donations Needed

Food For Neighbors raises awareness, mobilizes communities, and partners with local middle and high schools to connect vital resources with food-insecure students. Sign up today to donate one bag of food five times a year via the Red Bag Program. Go to to learn more. 

If you wish to submit volunteer opportunities, email Tanya Erway at

Shepherd's Centers Offer Free Transportation Services for Older Adults

The non-profit Shepherd's Centers are sponsored by local area congregations, corporate partners, community groups, and individuals to serve adults 50 and older. The centers offer free transportation for medical appointments and non-medical needs (e.g. grocery shopping) for adults 50+ who live in their center’s service area and are able to independently get in and out of a car. Although this service is free to the client, and is not means qualified, you must apply for it. Once accepted, a request for a ride must be made at least five days in advance. Individual centers also offer additional programs and services. Visit the website or call the center in your area for more information. 

Interested in volunteering at a Shepherd's Center? Contact a center to learn more:

  • Shepherd's Center of Annandale/Springfield - 703-941-1419;; or email
  • Shepherd's Center of Fairfax/Burke703-323-4788;; or email
  • Shepherd's Center of McLean, Arlington and Falls Church -; or email
  • Shepherd's Center of Oakton/Vienna/Dunn Loring/Reston/Herndon/Great Falls703-281-0538;
  • Shepherd's Center of South County703-799-0505 or email
  • Shepherd's Center of Western Fairfax County - 703-246-5920.

June Community Calendar

Love to Play Soccer?
Players 50 and older are invited to join the Fairfax Over 50 Soccer League. We play outdoor, year-round, full-field, 11 vs. 11 with paid, licensed referees on Fairfax County fields. We strive to play competitively while staying safe. We are also adding an Over 60 Division this season. We are members of USASA. Dues are required to join. For more information, visit

Author Spotlight: Welcoming LGBT Residents
Wednesday, June 7, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

AARP Virginia and Insight Memory Care Center present this event with Tim R. Johnston, author of "Welcoming LGBT Residents." Join us for this free, open discussion to learn practical tips on working with LGBT older adults in senior living settings. This hybrid session will be offered in-person at The Providence Fairfax, 9490 Sprague Avenue, Fairfax, and online. For more information and to register, visit, email, or call 703-204-4664, x141.

Alzheimer’s Association Presents: 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s 
Tuesday, June 13, 10:15-11:15 a.m. 

Hosted by the Virtual Center for Active Adults. For more information, visit; To join the virtual presentation on Zoom, visit; Meeting ID: 905 123 5932; Passcode: 3636

Dementia and Driving - Fairfax
Wednesday, June 14, 1-2:30 p.m.

Insight Memory Care Center - Fairfax, 3955 Pender Drive, Suite 100, Fairfax
In the early stages some people are able to keep driving, but as memory and decision-making skills decline they need to stop. Family and friends need to monitor the person’s driving ability to decide when it’s time to give up the keys. Learn more about driving assessments and other options to keep everyone safe on the road. This free program is part of our monthly Care Partner Training series. For more information and to register, visit, email, or call 703-204-4664, x141.

Juneteenth Celebration 
Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Frying Pan Farm Park, 2739 West Ox Road, Herndon
Celebrate African American stories, food traditions, music, and contributions to American spiritual life. Activities will include a special guest storyteller, live music, crafts, history, and food trucks offering African American cuisine. For more information, visit

Mapping Your Ancestor’s Neighborhood 
Tuesday, June 20, 1-3 p.m.

Have you ever wondered where your ancestors lived, shopped, worked, or attended church? Genealogy educator and lecturer Chuck Mason will discuss how a great deal of this information can be gleaned by matching genealogical records with maps printed during your ancestor’s time. Learn more about this free Zoom event at or register by emailing

Pride Month Poetry Reading
Saturday, June 24, 3-5 p.m.

Ellanor C. Lawrence Park, 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly
Celebrate Pride Month with a poetry reading featuring some of the region’s most prominent LGBTQ+ poets - Sunu Chandy, Kim Roberts, Holly Mason Badra, and Malik Thompson. This reading lifts up a variety of voices and experiences to honor the rich legacy and contributions of poets and poetry in the queer community.

Please note that dates, prices, and times are correct at publishing. However, please confirm information by calling or checking using the phone numbers or websites provided.

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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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