Many of us love Alexandria and want to stay as we grow older. When considering their needs and hopes as they age, many Alexandrians may think about the health services offered in their community or nearby. In fact, to be able to remain independent for as long as possible, older residents must rely on many other community features.
Recognizing the importance of planning for an increasing aging population, the Alexandria City Council approved “The Alexandria of Our Future: A Livable Community for All Ages.” This document, the Strategic Plan on Aging for 2013 - 2017, defined the steps the city should take to accommodate its older residents. The city’s Commission on Aging and Division of Aging and Adult Services identified the views of older residents through two community town halls and a survey, but also wanted to assure that all generations would be well served by their recommendations.
The plan focused on communications, housing, transportation, community services, economic and workforce development, quality of life, and health, wellness and safety. Improved communications became the major priority because many older residents at the town halls made it clear that they were not familiar with the many programs that the city offers.
Significant progress has been made since the passage of the Strategic Plan on Aging. The Commission on Aging, however, is working on updating the plan and hopes that Alexandria will become a member of the AARP/World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Community Network. The network offers advice and ideas to communities that are working on becoming a livable community for all ages.
To make sure we provide the best plan moving forward for Alexandria’s seniors we want to hear from you. Senior Services of Alexandria is holding a speaker series on Wednesday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St. in Alexandria. There will be representatives from the City Manager’s Office, Division of Aging and Adult Services and the Commission on Aging talking about all the programs and opportunities available to seniors, and we will solicit participant’s input to help set priorities for the future. It is a free event, open to the public. To register online go to seniorservicesalex.org or call 703-836-4414, ext. 110.