Wayne Foley, chair of the Great Falls Citizens Association’s Seniors Group, speaks at the group’s first public meeting in April of last year. The group used information from that meeting to form their mission, and is looking for assistance from the community.
Photo by Jean Jianos
Great Falls The Great Falls Citizens Association’s Seniors Group is seeking input from the community’s senior population, as well as those who might be interested in volunteering to provide services to seniors. The group, which hosted a town hall meeting last year, hopes to work with community organizations such as the Great Falls Ecumenical Council, Share, Inc and other nonprofits.
"We’re looking to hear from all those who need services, or think they will need services, as well as anyone that would be interested in volunteering to help our seniors," said Bob Lundegard of the GFCA Senior Group.
The group took a formal survey at their 2011 meeting to gauge needs and expectations of the senior community. According to the results, there were three areas of strong interest.
Transportation for shopping, doctor’s appointments and visiting friends, alternative housing for seniors with too much house or land to take care of and opportunities for regular companionship were the needs indicated in the survey.
The Seniors Group hopes to coordinate with churches and public facilities to provide activities and education to seniors, such as computer classes and trips.
"We’re here to not only meet the needs of seniors, but to provide an asset to the caregivers," said Wayne Foley, chair of the Seniors Group. "One of the greatest assets to them would be to provide seniors with a safe place to spend a few hours, which would give caregivers a break as well."
One of the group’s goals is to pursue a "center without walls," which is a concept that would schedule various activities around the community, based off of the Burke-West Springfield Senior Center Without Walls, which provides residents with a wide variety of activities.
The group also hopes to join with Share, a McLean-based nonprofit that serves McLean and Great Falls, in their food and furniture drives, as well as coordinate with the county’s Meals on Wheels program, to help provide transportation.
Feedback from seniors looking for services or those interested in volunteering can be given by contacting Sondra Taylor of the Seniors Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-759-6204.