Aging Together through partnerships, connects people to resources and communities to improve quality of life as we age. We seek to assure local residents will have the services and supports they need as they age. This partnership is built on an alliance of organizations and individuals who actively participate in one or more County Teams and regional committees; and work together across agencies, counties and interest areas. Using this unique collaboration at both local and regional levels, Aging Together has changed the way our communities do business and has been recognized by state and national organizations as a leader in the field of aging.
During this unprecedented year, Aging Together like many organizations has had to rethink the way we reach our constituents. COVID-19 is especially threatening to those over the age of 60 and Aging Together. It is paramount that older adults stay at home to remain safe, but this has increased the problems of social isolation - already a healthcare crisis before the pandemic. Many older adults at home don’t have transportation which means they struggle attaining food, medication, and have limited ability to communicate with loved ones, especially if they struggle with technology. If they are not ambulatory they find it hard to cope with everyday tasks like cooking a meal, cleaning their homes, bathing themselves. Boredom, fear, loneliness and depression are all outcomes of isolation.
In response Aging Together has formed a team of partners who meet monthly to discuss needs and gaps in services related to COVID-19, and to formulate ways to alleviate them. We have held, and continue to organize, caregiver webinars to assist those who support people living with dementia. We have configured a regional community resource list to connect people with a wide range of services, most of them without cost, so that essentials like food are made available. We have provided iPads to assisted living facilities so residents can connect with their loved ones. We are working with volunteers who are willing to drive people to grocery stores and medical services. We work to connect people with respite care finances. And we continue to develop these and other programs to help keep our community strong, despite the challenges.
For over 20 years Aging Together has offered programs on topics such as safe medication use, storage and disposal; scams and identity theft; management of chronic illness; "driving as you're getting older"; how to be an alzheimer's-friendly business; navigating the stages of senior care; and much more.
If you have been to our annual Art of Aging Expo which has participation now of over 600 people, you see the wide reach we and our partners have been able to serve with offerings like flu shots, blood pressure checks, vision and hearing screenings, document shredding, antiques appraisals, product samples, demos, and dozens of regional providers displaying and helping to inform - and the entire event is FREE. We have organized programs with Teepa Snow, the nationally renowned expert on dementia care and activities, and this year we were able to provide a webinar even amid the pandemic crisis. We work to remove social isolation with events like the annual Senior Prom for those 50 and over. With our participation in the Dementia Friends program we help coach the business, retail, public service and private sectors with short sessions on how to identify characteristics of people living with dementia, so they are able to provide assistance when confronted with someone having challenges either in their place of business, a public area or at home. We work with our County Team volunteers to sponsor programs that support veterans, transportation services, food sustenance programs and techology training among many, many other services and resources.
This year we are especially grateful for your consideration in supporting Aging Together on May 5 during the Give Local Piedmont Campaign. Our goal is to raise $6000 which will mitigate some of the loss from canceled events. We have a very small staff and a very large cadre of volunteers, which allows for most dollars raised to go right back into the community in the form of programs, events, and resources that make our region more livable for all generations.
" I think that it is great what you are all doing! You all make a great team, and are state-of-the-art in helping our aging population." - D. Walker / Healthy Culpeper