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Column: SSA Kicks Off Friendly Visitor Program

Front: Janet Barnett, executive director, Senior Services of Alexandria; Gregg Murphy, president of the board of directors of Senior Services of Alexandria; Mayor Euille, and Jim Lindsay, owner, Adult Companion Care. Back: Dan Carlton, pastor, Downtown Baptist Church; Jim Roberts, Old Presbyterian Meeting House; Mary Lee Anderson, Senior Services of Alexandria resource center director and William Vosbeck, founder of Senior Services of Alexandria.

Front: Janet Barnett, executive director, Senior Services of Alexandria; Gregg Murphy, president of the board of directors of Senior Services of Alexandria; Mayor Euille, and Jim Lindsay, owner, Adult Companion Care. Back: Dan Carlton, pastor, Downtown Baptist Church; Jim Roberts, Old Presbyterian Meeting House; Mary Lee Anderson, Senior Services of Alexandria resource center director and William Vosbeck, founder of Senior Services of Alexandria. Photo by Andrea Blackford

On Oct. 24, Senior Services of Alexandria kicked off its Friendly Visitors Program with the support of Alexandria’s Mayor Bill Euille and members of the faith community from Old Presbyterian Meeting House and Downtown Baptist. We are thankful for their support to get this exciting program off the ground. Friendly Visitors will match seniors with members of the community with the goal of relieving loneliness and the feeling of isolation experienced by many of Alexandria’s seniors who may lack the local support of friends and family.

“We expect our visitors to become like family to many of our seniors who do not have a network of friends and family,” said Janet Barnett, SSA’s executive director. We are pleased that the community has confidence in SSA to fund this program and to help us enhance the lives of homebound seniors. We are grateful to Adult Companion Care, Downtown Baptist Church and individuals who have funded the program. We continue to find additional funding.”

SSA is looking to start the program by visiting seniors in local nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the city. Friendly Visitor volunteers and their paired seniors will meet weekly to talk, play games or whatever activity the senior would like to do. Volunteers will receive training and must pass a background check.

SSA is currently looking for volunteers to be matched with seniors. So if you want to make a difference in a senior’s life, we need you. It’s easy, just call SSA directly at 703-836-4414, ext 13 or email resourcecenter@seniorservicesalex.org.

Seniors interested in the program may be referred by their senior housing facility, city government or local congregation or may contact SSA directly.

SSA was founded nearly 45 years ago by a visionary group of citizens with a mission to enable seniors within the City of Alexandria to age with dignity. Please visit SSA’s website at www.seniorservicesalex.org for programs and services offered to Alexandria’s seniors.