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Letter: Invaluable Assist for Seniors

To the Editor:

With all the talk about the rapid growth of the aging population, here in Alexandria there is an answer that benefits our community by supporting seniors who want to stay in their homes.

Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of seniors want to remain, independently, in their homes as they age. The community groups called “villages” have the answer. These are organizations of volunteers devoted to doing a long list of services to help the elderly stave off the wrenching decision to leave home. They will do fix-up chores, help with electronics, light yard work, transportation to medical appointments, and a lively calendar of social events such as museum visits, “Dining Around” gatherings at restaurants, “Conversation With …” lectures, TGIF chatfests and just daily “how are you” phone calls.

I know what the villages can do because I am a member of At Home in Alexandria, the village that covers most of our city. AHA!, as it is called for short, celebrates its first anniversary in mid-April. AHA! volunteers have helped me with little home-maintenance chores and rides to various events. I am far from helpless, but after my husband died, I found there are some things that were easy to do around the house that are no longer easy.

AHA! is one of more than 100 villages nationwide; more than a dozen are operating or in the planning stages in the Washington, D.C. region. I encourage Alexandrians to think of elderly relatives, neighbors or friends who may benefit from the things that AHA! does. The AHA! office is 703-231-0824 and email address is aha@athomeinalexandria.org

The Website, for further information, is www.athomeinalexandria.org

Patsy Ticer