Reinventing Your Neighborhood: Creating Supportive Communities for All Ages On April 12, 2008

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Fairfax County and Partners to Host

From Boston to Berkeley, older people are transforming their neighborhoods into the supportive communities they’ve always wanted and now, for a host of reasons, require. Fairfax County and community partners, have taken note and are sponsoring a half day community forum on Saturday, April 12, 2008 entitled, Reinventing Your Neighborhood: Creating Supportive Communities for All Ages.

The event will take place at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax and will feature speakers from several supportive neighborhood organizations including the famous and pioneering Beacon Hill Village from Boston, Mass.

“Most of us want to live comfortably in our own homes as we grow older,” said Grace Starbird, director of the Department of Family Services’ Fairfax Area Agency on Aging, a leading sponsor of the event. “We’ll hear from neighborhood groups that have made that possible,” adding, “this really is an exciting opportunity to learn more.”

It is difficult to describe neighborhood-based service organizations because no two are alike. Nevertheless, one consistent feature is: they are organized by community members to serve the specific needs and wants of community members. Most sponsor a concierge or information and referral service that links members to a wide range of services including transportation, grocery shopping, yard work, handyman services, and theatre tickets, as well as in-home health care. Some use volunteers and most involve an annual fee.

Driving the development of these organizations has been people over 50 who want to “age in place” in their neighborhoods. However, organizers often discover that younger neighbors want to join to better manage the demands of their busy lives.

Two Fairfax County neighborhood-based service organizations, Mount Vernon At Home and Clifton-Fairfax Stations Transition in Place Services (CFS-TIPS), are under development. Representatives are scheduled to speak at the April 12 event.

The April 12 program aligns with the Board of Supervisors’ Fairfax 50+ Action Plan, adopted in October, 2007. The plan is dedicated to building “a more aging friendly community.” It can be viewed at

Additional information on the April 12 event, including registration information, will appear in the next issue of the Golden Gazette. For more information on the event, contact the communication manager of the Department of Family Services’ Fairfax Area Agency on Aging at [email protected] or 703/324-5277.

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