Senior Living: Helping Seniors Age Safely and Successfully

Senior Living: Helping Seniors Age Safely and Successfully

Home for Life 2024 Expo is slated for April 12.

Estate planner Andrea Bryk, left, of the Bryk Law Firm, and wealth-management advisor Christy Plunkett-Barese, of Bastion Wealth Group, at last year’s expo.

Estate planner Andrea Bryk, left, of the Bryk Law Firm, and wealth-management advisor Christy Plunkett-Barese, of Bastion Wealth Group, at last year’s expo.

All in one place, seniors can learn how to stay strong and healthy, prevent falls, keep themselves safe, use technology, and connect with volunteers to obtain transportation, home repairs and other services. In addition, they can obtain information about subjects including estate planning, nutrition, lifetime learning, long-term care, medical house calls and decluttering.

These topics and many more will be explored during the second annual Home for Life 2024 Expo on Friday, April 12, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hosted by the Fairfax Village in the City’s Advisory Board, it’ll be at the Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Blenheim Blvd. in Fairfax.

The event is free and open to the public, and registration is not required. “The idea is to help promote successful aging so people can live safely in their homes and age in place,” explained Village Coordinator Jason Scadron. “Our goal is to help them meet representatives from local agencies, plus service providers, so they’ll be able to do so. At the same time, we’ll help provide them with a sense of community and connectedness.”

Experts will speak about pertinent subjects, and exhibitors will offer a wealth of information on a variety of subjects that seniors will find useful. Attendees may come and go as they please and choose which presentations they wish to hear and which exhibitors’ tables they want to visit. And Scadron says this year’s event will be even bigger and better than last year’s.

This time, it’ll use the Sherwood Center’s entire performance space for the exhibitors, instead of just half, like last year. That’s because there’ll be 10 more exhibitors in it, for 35 total, as well as a café section so attendees may take a break to sit down and enjoy coffee, tea, water, freshly baked items and other snacks while chatting with their friends.

Also new this year will be the Fairfax City Fire Department’s brand-new Life Safety Education Trailer. It’ll be parked outside the Sherwood Center; and inside, fire Lt. David Arrington will demonstrate how to put out both kitchen and grill fires, plus how to turn off the electrical power and main water valve in a home. City Police and Human Services representatives will be there, too, as members of Fairfax City’s Community Response Team. 

When people enter the Sherwood Center, they’ll receive a schedule with the names of the event’s four speakers and their topics, plus a list of all the exhibitors and their contact information. That way, the schedule will also become a resource for seniors later on, as needed.

The speakers will be in the center’s rehearsal space, and attendees will have more time this year to walk through the exhibit hall before the first speaker begins. At 10:30 a.m., Village Advisory Board Chairman Anita Light will welcome everyone and introduce Fairfax Mayor Catherine Read, who’ll make opening remarks. John Iver, COO of the event’s main sponsor, Premium Care USA, will also speak briefly.

Exhibitors include both the City and county libraries, there to help seniors and those with disabilities access technology. And Scadron and Village Advisory Board Vice-Chair Carolyn Sutterfield will be on hand to discuss the Village program.

The speakers’ schedule is as follows:

* 11 a.m. - “Social Connection: A Matter of Life and Health,”    

Speaker: Carolyn Cukierman, chair of the Social Connections Committee of Fairfax County’s Coordinating Council on Aging and Adults with Disabilities.  

* 11:45 a.m. – “Staying Safe at Home,”

Speaker: Patti Klein, executive director, Rebuilding Together, Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church.

* 12:30 p.m. – “Declutter Today, Thrive Tomorrow,”

Speaker: Mary Ann Gallotta, professional organizer, Sparking Joy with Mary Ann.  

* 1:15 p.m. – “Dementia 101: It Takes a Village,”    

Speaker: Jennifer Denk, director, community education, Insight Memory Care Center.

Scadron stressed that this event is open to everyone in the county. He also said the Village Advisory Board started working on the 2024 Expo as soon as last year’s ended. “About 150 people attended in 2023 and, this year, we’ve enriched it to make it even more fun and satisfying,” said Scadron. “And now that people are more aware of the Village, we anticipate an even greater turnout.”

If the parking lot is full, people may park at nearby Van Dyck Park and walk on the path to the Sherwood Center, or park in the Christian Science Church lot across the street. For more information about the speakers and exhibitors, go to

Fairfax Village in the City is a City-supported program supporting Fairfax City residents who wish to stay independent while remaining in their homes. It’s for adults 55 and older, including those with disabilities, and also aids them in obtaining access to resources offered by Fairfax County and local nonprofits.  

Vetted, City-based volunteers provide personal services such as check-in calls and visits, yardwork, technology help and transportation to appointments. The program also enhances connections between neighbors and offers opportunities for social interaction. 

Last year, the Village had 40 participants and 30 volunteers. Now, after nearly two years in operation, it has 90 participants and 46 volunteers. And, said Scadron, “The members who’ve received services are very pleased with them.”

“I’m proud of the Village, and it’s exciting to see it grow,” he continued. “It feels good to help people. The dedicated, committed people on our Advisory Board, plus word of mouth, are getting out the message that our program works and makes sense. And seniors are becoming more accepting of the idea that it’s OK to ask for help.”