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

2022 March

Featured Articles

Laurie WarholRetired Social Worker Laurie Warhol Continues Helping Others
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” says Laurie Warhol, a retired social worker who has made Fairfax County her home for the past 30 years. “I really enjoy working with people to help them get their needs met.” A few years ago, after Laurie retired, she helped her friend with a project at the Sully Senior Center. When the project was finished, Laurie realized how much she enjoyed working with a group of women from the center and connecting with them.

March is Social Worker Appreciation Month. Learn more about how Laurie uses her experience as a social worker in her volunteer work.

vegetablesExplore These Programs During National Nutrition Month
During National Nutrition Month, we would like to call attention to nutrition services provided through the Older Americans Act Title III-C to adults aged 60 and over, such as Congregate Nutrition Program, Meals on Wheels, Nutrition Education and Nutrition Counseling. Learn more.

SNAP logoNow It’s a Snap to Apply for SNAP
According to the National Council on Aging, 3 out of 5 older adults who qualify for food assistance (SNAP) are missing out on the benefit. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps you and your family buy food using a special debit card called an EBT Card. Learn more.

adult helping seniorIndividualized Care Matters!
A person receiving long-term care services has the right to receive individualized care. Services and activities should strive to attain or maintain a person’s highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. Often this can be addressed in a person’s initial assessment and plan of care (POC). Learn more about the Northern Virginia Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Fairfax Area Commission on Aging

(by Jacquie Woodruff, Legislative and Policy Supervisor)

SHAPE the future graphicThe 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 March 16 COA meeting, Colin Brody, Assistant Public Health Emergency Management Coordinator, Health Department, presented a COVID-19 update.

The COA reviewed information-gathering approaches to support the SHAPE the Future of Aging Plan development. Commissioners also discussed COA budget testimony for the BOS FY 2023 Advertised Budget hearings.

Next COA Meeting, Wednesday, April 20, 1 p.m.
The COA continues to meet virtually this month. 

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Access Code: COA-m1234!

For live audio dial, 888-270-9936 or call 
602-333-0032; Conference Code: 231525 

For ADA accommodations, contact:
Hilda Naranjo, 703-324-7496 or
TTY services available via 711. 

For meeting updates, visit:

Getting The Care You Need (A Guide for People with Disabilities)

(from Disability Rights and Resources)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has published a guide - Getting The Care You Need (A Guide for People with Disabilities), which offers information and checklists to assist people with disabilities in receiving the healthcare they need. According to the guide, people with disabilities have the right to access the same medical services as everyone else. This means providers:

  • Shouldn’t deny you medical care or services because buildings, exam rooms, or equipment aren’t accessible.
  • Should give you information in a way you understand.

The guide talks about understanding your rights, working with providers to get the care and resources you need, what to do if you experience difficulties, and more. Read the full guide here:

Virtual Scam Jam Set for April 22

(from the AARP and the Silver Shield Task Force)

Knowledge gives you power over scams. Join AARP Virginia and attendees from across the U.S. for a FREE virtual event on Friday, April 22, at 9 a.m. ET. AARP membership is not required.

The 5th Annual Scam Jam will provide reliable, up-to-date insights, and information and resources to better protect yourself and loved ones. With AARP Virginia and the Fairfax County Silver Shield Task Force on your side, you’ll be better equipped to stay ahead of scammers. Registration for Scam Jam is required.

To strike back against scammers, AARP Virginia and the Silver Shield Task Force are working together to empower consumers to spot and avoid scams, and to provide support and guidance to victims and their families when fraud happens.

Register and attend Scam Jam to receive a complimentary copy of Mensa® AARP® Challenging Brain Twisters:100 Logic and Number Puzzles.

Building Financial Preparedness Before a Disaster

(by the Office of Emergency Management)

Americans at all income levels have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergencies. In these stressful times, having access to records is crucial for starting the recovery process quickly and efficiently.

Preparedness Tips

  • Gather financial, personal, household, and medical information.
  • Obtain property, health, and life insurance if you do not have them. Not all insurance policies are the same so review your policy to make sure the amount and types of coverage you have meets the requirements for all possible hazards.
  • Homeowners insurance does not typically cover flooding, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the national flood insurance program. Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect.

More information:

Boost Your Financial Literacy With Free Library Programs and Resources

(by Christina Paladeau, Fairfax County Public Library)

Throughout 2022 Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) is celebrating literacy in all its forms, showcasing a different type through programs, activities and resources each month. With tax season in full swing, April is Financial Literacy Month at your local library.

What is Financial Literacy?

According to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy as noted by, personal financial literacy is "the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively” to achieve and maintain financial well-being. It’s never too late to boost your financial literacy and benefit from better money management skills; the following library programs and resources will help you do so!

Free Financial Literacy Month Events

Visit Centreville Regional Library any time in April to participate in a financial literacy scavenger hunt. Turn in your completed form by April 30 for the chance to win a personal finance book.

Join FCPL virtually on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. for a workshop on saving and investing — including discussion of asset allocation and diversification as well as tips for retirement and how to avoid fraud in the investment world — with Suzanne McGovern of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Advance registration is required.

Learn about all aspects of Social Security from an expert during a presentation by AARP at Sherwood Regional Library on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. For more events like this, check out the library events calendar at

Need tax help, too? Appointments are available through April 16 for AARP Tax Help at Herndon Fortnightly Library and VITA Tax Assistance at Kingstowne Library. Register at

Always-Available Money Management Resources

FCPL cardholders now enjoy fine-free* borrowing from the library’s collection, which includes 500+ books, eBooks and audiobooks on personal finance: Plus, access curated information, databases, tools and more anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection by visiting the online guide to Finance, Investing and the Economy at

FCPL’s online guide for Adults and 50-Plus at offers recommended books, programs, recorded presentations and more on a variety of topics.

*Some special collections, including interlibrary loans, Chromebooks and hotspots, continue to accrue overdue fines.

Resources for Family Caregivers

(by Giuliana Valencia, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging)

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. According to The Parkinson’s Foundation, “Nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson's Disease (PD)…[and] this is expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030.” Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement, and symptoms generally develop slowly over time, according to the Mayo Foundation.

If you are caring for someone who has been diagnosed with PD, it is important to remember that as the disease progresses, your role as a caregiver will change with it. Hence, having a strong support network is essential because it will provide connections and opportunities to learn from others who have experienced similar situations.

Caring for someone with PD takes time. In fact, The Parkinson’s Caregiver: 7 Ways to Help Your Loved One from Johns Hopkins Medicine, recommends educating yourself to have a better understanding of the disease; attend doctors’ appointments, ask questions and take notes; keep track of changes and new symptoms, and make sure medications are taken accordingly.

To learn more about Fairfax County Family Caregiver Support Programs, contact our Aging, Disability, and Caregiver Resource Line at 703-324-7948.

Living Better with Parkinson’s Disease - Caregiver Webinar

Drew Falconer, M.D., director of the Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, a board-certified neurologist, and a fellowship-trained movement disorders specialist, will provide caregivers with a basic clinical understanding of Parkinson’s Disease. He will also provide an understanding of what it feels like to live with Parkinson’s as a patient and share tips and resources to help make life with Parkinson's less challenging. Join us on Wednesday, April 20, from Noon-1 p.m. Online Registration: or call 703-324-5484.

Yoga and Meditation for Stress Reduction - Caregiver Workshop

In this session, caregiver wellness coach Lucy Gerland, will lead us into Chair Yoga moves and simple meditation to help relieve stress and bring calm and focus to your day. Lucy understands caregivers and their needs on a very personal level as she took care of both of her parents and is beginning a caregiving journey for another relative. Join us on Friday, April 8, from Noon-1 p.m. Online Registration: or call 703-324-5484.

Mindfulness in the Kitchen- Caregiver Workshop

Staying in the present moment reduces stress, improves memory, and (best) invokes gratitude. Preparing food offers a beautiful opportunity to come into the present. While demonstrating how to prepare a simple whole grain meal, cookbook author Cynthia Lair will share exercises on how to use all five senses to calm the mind, focus attention, and prepare better tasting food. Cooking with this intention improves our relationship to food, our cooking skills, and our sense of well-being. Lair has written three cookbooks, given a TEDx talk on "How to Cut an Onion", and was the host of the YouTube series Cookus Interruptus. Join us on Friday, April 29, from Noon-1 p.m. Online Registration: or call 703-324-5484.

Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center

As part of an international effort to raise awareness for Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April, the Inova Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center is hosting a virtual Parkinson’s resource fair on April 13. Throughout the year, they will also offer a variety of educational, wellness and supportive programs for people with Parkinson’s, their families and friends, and professionals. The Inova team of movement disorders specialists always provides comprehensive, patient-centered care, as every patient is unique and should have their own individualized treatment plan. For more information, please contact or go to

Classes from ElderLink

Call 703-324-5374, TTY 711, for a free caregiver consultation, 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Caring for You, Caring for Me Thursdays, April 21-May 19, Noon-2 p.m. Free.

This signature program of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers is a blend of interactive support and education for caregivers. Participants report increased confidence and competence when caregiving. Class offered via Zoom. Contact Kristin Martin at 703-324-7577 or visit to register.

Virtual Live Well: Chronic Disease Self-Management Mondays, April 4 through May 9, 2-4 p.m. Free.

Don't let ongoing health problems stop you from living the life you enjoy. Fairfax County's Virtual Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a six-week group interactive workshop series for individuals who are interested in learning how to live better by effectively managing their ongoing health conditions. Learn positive strategies for better overall health, such as managing pain and fatigue, sleeping and eating better, increasing physical activity and so much more! Connect with others managing similar concerns. Classes offered via Zoom. Space is limited, and preregistration is required. For more information, please call Dianne Duke at 703-324-7721, TTY 711, or register at:

Walk with Ease Thursdays, April 14-May 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free.

This program, created by the Arthritis Foundation, allows you to walk at your own pace 3 x week. We 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 offered via Zoom. Contact Dianne Duke at 703-324-7721 or visit

Tips for Preventing Hypertension

(by Maria Loh, Program Coordinator, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging)

According to the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association, a normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 mmHg. Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first number is systolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart beats. The second number is called diastolic blood pressure, which measures the pressure in your arteries when your heart rests between beats. Our blood pressure changes throughout the day based on our activities. Having blood pressure measures consistently above normal may result in a diagnosis of hypertension. Hypertension is a major preventable risk factor for heart disease and stroke which are the first and fifth leading causes of death for Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides helpful tips on how we can prevent hypertension and lower our risk for heart disease and stroke:

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lower in saturated fat and sodium (salt) is recommended. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan is proven to lower blood pressure. It emphasizes the following:

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and vegetable oils
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets

When making changes to your diet, starting with small changes may help you stay motivated. For example, instead of omitting all added sugars from your diet, make gradual changes such as replacing your sweetened desserts with fresh fruit three times a week.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for hypertension and other diseases. Talk to your health care provider about ways to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, including through a healthy diet and increased physical activity.

Be Physically Active

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or bicycling, five days a week. For older adults, physical activity reduces the risk of fall related injuries. Participating in a class like Matter of Balance, SAIL, Bingocize, Yoga, or Zumba, at your local senior center is a great way to increase physical activity. Always check with your health care provider before embarking on any new exercise regimen.

Do Not Smoke

Smoking is not just harmful to your lungs but also increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Limit Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure. Men should have no more than two alcoholic beverages a day while women should have no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.

Get Enough Sleep

Not getting enough sleep can raise our risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. Habitual short sleep duration (less than 7 to 8 hours) has also been linked to higher body mass index and weight gain. The appetite regulation hormones, leptin and ghrelin, can be affected by inadequate sleep.

More information about high blood pressure can be found at

Volunteering: Providing Hope and Kindness

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

Are you looking for a way to lift your spirits and help someone else, too? There are many ways to spread kindness in our community. Learn about these volunteer opportunities below, or several others at

Volunteer Solutions

The Department of Family Services’ Volunteer Solutions offers various opportunities to provide support to older adults, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers. Do you enjoy socializing or driving? Would you like to help as a grocery shopper? Are you organized and efficient with household tasks? If you prefer group settings, senior centers have various needs for activity leaders, instructors, entertainers, and assistants. Skilled volunteers are needed in these areas and more: fitness, English as a Second Language (ESL), American Sign Language (ASL), arts & crafts, and music. Are you bilingual? You’re needed, too! To learn more and register go to, email, or call 703-324-5406.

Befriend-A-Child Program

The Department of Family Services needs mentors throughout Fairfax County for children, 5 to 12 years old. Males and bilingual English-Spanish speakers are highly encouraged to apply. Mentors must be able to make a two-year commitment, spend at least eight hours per month with their mentee and participate in monthly group outings. Fill your time in a fun, new way, while making a positive impact on a child. Go to Questions? Call a Befriend-A-Child Program Coordinator at 703-324-7072, or email or

Body Safety Program

Last year, 1,413 cases of child abuse or neglect were identified in Fairfax County. The Department of Family Services’ Body Safety Program needs volunteer classroom instructors to help empower elementary students with the tools they need to prevent or interrupt child abuse and exploitation. Training is provided. Visit or contact Francesca Watson at, or 703-324-7459.

Humane Society of Fairfax

The Humane Society of Fairfax needs volunteers to help in their Second Chance Thrift Store at 4055 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax. Hours are flexible between 10am- 3pm, Monday through Friday, or until 4pm on Saturday. Volunteers are also needed to socialize with cats and dogs. Apply at Email for more information

Submit county volunteer opportunities to Tanya Erway at

Fairfax County Volunteer Solutions connects people with meaningful opportunities to support older adults, adults with disabilities, and family caregivers. Our volunteers provide support in one-on-one or group settings. Learn more by calling us at 703-324-5406, TTY 711 to speak with a volunteer coordinator. We'll help you find the right volunteer role for your schedule and interests! 

Vietnamese and Korean Speakers Needed as Election Officers

(From the Fairfax County Office of Elections)

The Fairfax County Office of Elections needs additional bilingual election officers to assist voters in the June primary and November general elections.

Specifically, registered Virginia voters who speak Vietnamese and English fluently or Korean and English fluently are needed to serve in the areas Annandale, Centreville, Chantilly, and Falls Church.

You will perform all regular election officer duties, including assisting most voters in English, but will be assigned to precincts with a significant number of voters who may primarily speak Vietnamese or Korean. To serve as a designated bilingual election officer, you must also complete a short oral language skills assessment.

Fairfax County is the largest voting jurisdiction in Virginia with 247 precincts countywide. It takes thousands of enthusiastic and trained election officers to ensure that we have efficient and well-run elections. Compensation begins at $175 and training is provided online for new officers.

To apply: (be sure to indicate if you speak Vietnamese or Korean)

More information:

Videos: Become a Fairfax County Election Officer

  • Korean language:
  • Vietnamese Language:

Older Adult Services Realigned to Enhance Service Delivery

(From the Fairfax County Health Department)

Fairfax County announced plans to realign some Fairfax County Health Department services and programs for older adults to maximize the program’s high-quality standards, efficiency, and expertise of its large portfolio of services and programs for those ages 50+.

Adult Day Health Care and the Long Term Care Coordinating Council will join Neighborhood and Community Services. The team that conducts long-term Support Services Screenings, formerly referred to as Medicaid Pre-Admission Screenings will move to Department of Family Services. Previously, all three programs were managed by the Health Department.

Through becoming part of Neighborhood and Community Services, Adult Day Health Care will enjoy a more direct connection with the county Senior Centers. The two programs are typically co-located, and staff collaborate daily to ensure they are providing the best possible service to each program participant.

The Long-Term Care Coordinating Council has a long tradition of advocating for programs and services to enhance the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. As part of Neighborhood and Community Services, the Council will be able to better coordinate with the transportation, therapeutic, technology and other programs.

The Department of Family Services oversees the Aging, Disability, and Caregiver Resources line, so the addition of Long-Term Services & Support Screening to its roster elevates access to services for older adults with cognitive, functional impairment and developmental disabilities even more. 

No program physical locations are moving. All staff will remain with their programs as they move to the new agency and new staff will be added to meet growing needs. It is anticipated the transition will be completed by July 1. 

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

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,

April Community Calendar

Women’s Softball
The Golden Girls of Northern Virginia, a senior women’s softball league, is looking for players. Any woman over the age of 40 is encouraged to join. All skill levels are welcome. We play on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings in Vienna. For more information, please call visit our web site or call 571-261-9163.

Medicare Workshops

  • Tuesday, April 12 – In-Person (limited seating) Noon to 1:30 p.m.
    Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191 Contact: Cassie Lebron, 703-390-6157
  • Monday, May 23– In-Person (limited seating) 7 to 8:30 p.m.
    Centreville Baptist Church, 15100 Lee Hwy, Centreville, VA 20120 Contact: Robert Lee, or 571-212-8097
  • Tuesday, May 24 -- Virtual Noon to 1:30 p.m.
    Reston Community Center, Reston, VA 20191 Contact: Cassie Lebron, 703-390-6157
  • Thursday, June 2, Virtual Noon to 1:30 p.m.
    Tall Oaks Assisted Living, Reston, VA 20190 Contact: Leslye Lawson, 703-834-9800, or Register online at

Musical Styles Along the Crooked Road: Crooked Road Royalty
March 20 - September 6, Free Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center 10209 Main Street, Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Crooked Road Royalty showcases the long history of picking and singing in the mountains. Visitors can explore the rich variety of roots music in western Virginia.

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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