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Caring for Seniors

Just a few years ago, one phone call changed our lives forever. As parents of two young girls, we were busy with our lives — work, preschool, plans for summer vacation: the usual daily routine. The call that turned our lives upside down came from the neighbor of my mother-in-law in Florida. They were concerned that she had been getting lost while driving to the store, and wanted to be sure we knew there was a serious problem.

Just a few weeks later, I found myself visiting assisted living and retirement communities in Alexandria and helping her move back up north. Together, we navigated a whole new world of estate planning, Medicare, military benefits and memory loss. Increasingly, we turned to friends who had been through similar experiences with their parents for advice, guidance and support. We learned that we live in a great area for seniors and uncovered many resources available to our family. It took a lot of time and patience, but eventually we felt like “experts” in the field.

The next Senior Services of Alexandria Speaker Series event would have been a real lifesaver for us. On Nov. 10, a panel of local experts will be talking about “Caregiver Support” and the local resources available to help family and friends care for their loved one — and for themselves. Representatives from AARP, the Division of Aging and Adult Services, Geriatric Care Management, Inova Alexandria Hospital, SSA, and Synergy HomeCare will share information about how to plan ahead, deal with immediate care issues, and get some helpful tools to make life easier for everyone concerned. The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House located at 323 South Fairfax Street in Alexandria. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, so please RSVP online at www.seniorservicesalex.org or by calling Senior Services of Alexandria at 703 836 4414, ext. 10.