Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

prenny-fcnpAging in place is a goal for many older residents who wish to stay in the community where they’ve worked, worshipped, raised their children, maintained their home, and their friendships. For healthy individuals, aging in place means continuing to practice that treasured independence, relying little, or not at all, on family members to assist when asked. But, if you’re not so healthy, reliant on family members as caregivers, and losing your independence, what can you do? Fortunately, there is a program available in Northern Virginia called PACE – Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

PACE is an innovative program that provides integrated healthcare and social services to senior citizens in a community-based setting. The goal is to keep senior citizens healthy and living in their community as long as possible. PACE provides a community-based alternative to nursing home placement for those who may require nursing home levels of care, but who may be able to continue to reside in the home with additional services. The InovaCares for Seniors PACE Program celebrated its open house on Monday in the City of Fairfax. Senator Mark Warner who, as Virginia governor, spearheaded bringing the PACE program to Virginia, was the guest speaker at the Inova event. Senator Warner alluded to his mother’s dilemma with dementia at a time when few understood or spoke out about the needs of families facing similar crises. Today, with the PACE program, qualified participants live at home, but are provided transportation to the center where they receive individualized medical and social services, including adult day care. Primary medical care is provided by a team of professionals with expertise in caring for the elderly. The whole family can participate in creating a personalized care plan for their loved one. One participant’s daughter described how happy the PACE care team made her mother feel each and every day of the program, and how that same team responded to a middle-of-the-night crisis. For more information about the PACE program at INOVA, call 703/239-5888, or email [email protected]

The Art in the Mason District Governmental Center exhibit features photographs by local resident Rick Reda. One favorite is the Yellowstone National Park in snowfall, but also captivating is the photo of a bright green Dublin mailbox, a paean to tradition and simpler times. Mr. Reda captures both pastoral and iconic images, and prints many of his photos with pigment rather than ink. Visit the show weekdays from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.

Happy 4th of July! Tuesday is the celebration of the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the creation of our nation. This year, especially, is a good time to examine our treasured democracy and representative government, at risk from both internal and external forces. Beyond the picnics, the parades, and the fireworks, let’s remember that the American flag flies over all of us, not just some, not just a few, but all of us, long-time residents and newcomers alike. It does not differentiate between races, faiths, genders, social standing, or wealth. All of us.

 


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]