Commonwealth Council on Aging 2014 Best Practices Awards Program
First Place ($5000): F.R.E.E. Foundation Equipment Reuse/Recycling and Gifting Program (Roanoke)
F.R.E.E helps Virginians achieve independence through mobility when they have no other way to attain their independence. Every day, adults across Virginia lose their mobility to injury or illness. Many are uninsured and cannot obtain the equipment they need. In Virginia, the number of uninsured adults remains very high, driven by unemployment and reductions in employer-provided healthcare. F.R.E.E. helps these Virginians in need regain their mobility and with it their independence by giving them needed rehabilitation mobility equipment. The majority of those served by F.R.E.E. are older Virginians.
Second Place ($3000): Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP) of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties and City of Radford’s Supplies for Seniors
The goal for Supplies For Seniors is to enhance the quality of life by providing basic necessities to homebound seniors during winter months. Homebound seniors are seniors who can't leave their home or rely on others to take them to do errands or bring meals, groceries and medication. During the past six autumns, the RSVP of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties and City of Radford have held a "Supplies for Seniors" drive to collect basic household and personal care items for seniors who receive home delivered meals through the New River Valley Agency on Aging) and Radford/Fairlawn Daily Bread. Each January, RSVP volunteers sort and bag the donated supplies, then deliver them to an average of 250 homebound seniors residing in the five localities of the New River Valley.
Third Place ($2000): Alzheimer’s Association Central and Western Virginia (CWVA) Chapter’s Arts Fusion
Arts Fusion offers creative and cultural opportunities for those affected by memory loss in the Alzheimer's Association CWVA Chapter area. Arts Fusion’s mission is to employ the arts as a vehicle for promoting creative expression and quality of life experiences for persons with dementia and their caregivers. For those diagnosed with younger onset and early stage dementia, who are living at home with a family caregiver, Arts Fusion offers art museum and gallery visits, nature walks, and opportunities to attend symphony and dramatic arts rehearsals.
The Council also approved the following four programs for Honorable Mention:
Wills for Seniors is an emotionally moving, empowering event providing seniors with a will, a power of attorney, and an advance medical directive. Four legal teams, consisting of lawyers, law students, and notary publics meet privately with each senior to prepare legal documents. The Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) coordinates the event through promotions, completing applications, determining eligibility, scheduling appointments, and guiding participants in preparing an advance questionnaire packet. The packet is reviewed and finalized on the Wills for Senior Day as each senior meets confidentially with their assigned legal team.
Rural Madison County located in north central Virginia along the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is home to an innovative program to benefit seniors age sixty or older named The Nest Egg Thrift Store. A national catalog company warehoused in Madison has generously donated returned items to the Madison Senior Center for repair and sale at the Nest Egg Thrift Store. Through coordination of 28 local volunteers and limited staff of the senior center, this program has provided substantial amounts of money ($76,130 in 2013) to expand the existing senior center site through construction of a 600 square foot addition. The program is coordinated by Rappahanock Rapidan Community Services.
A collaborative effort formed in 2010, the Greater Augusta Coalition Against Adult Abuse (GACAAA) is an all-volunteer organization working to raise awareness of adult abuse in the community and improve reporting procedures and criminal prosecution of adult abuse crimes. GACAAA members include representatives from senior centers, assisted living facilities, healthcare, social service organizations, first responders, law enforcement, local financial institutions, Legal Aid, Commonwealth attorneys, and APS representatives working in Augusta County, Staunton, Waynesboro, and surrounding areas. GACAAA partners with state and local service providers to improve public understanding of adult abuse with the goal of increased reporting, treatment, and prosecution of adult abuse.
The Northern Virginia Aging Network (NVAN) is a collaboration of organizations and individuals that advocate for and serve older residents of the five Northern Virginia Area Agency on Aging (AAA) catchment areas: Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, including Fairfax City and Falls Church, Loudoun and Prince William, including Manassas and Manassas Park. Representatives of the AAAs, commissions on aging and non-profit organizations (those providing services to older adults) from these areas meet every other month, to exchange information, share knowledge and stay current with the needs of their constituents and the possibilities for legislative solutions. In October, NVAN presents its platform to the Norther Virginia legislative delegation at its annual legislative breakfast, which attracted over 200 attendees in 2013. NVAN’s rigorous analysis of issues and understanding of the legislative process invariably attracts sponsors from the Northern Virginia delegation for its proposals.
Thanks to all who took the time to apply and it is never too early to start thinking about applying in 2015!
The Council has recognized organizations as examples of best practices since 2006. A list of these organizations and a brief overview of their programs can be found on the Best Practices Awards page.
We thank Dominion Resources for its generous contribution, which allows us to recognize these organizations for their dedication and work in advancing services for the aging.
Commonwealth Council on Aging Report on Community Conversations
The Council is hosting a Community Conversation on Aging on Thursday, January 9, 2014 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Senior Center of Greater Richmond, Inc. (2101 Maywill Street, Richmond, VA 23230). Here is the agenda.
The Council hosts a series of listening sessions, entitled Community Conversations on Aging, in Roanoke, Charlottesville, Newport News, and Woodbridge (Prince William Area). The topics discussed have been used to inform development of policy recommendations. Although there is regional variation, the most frequently discussed topics are housing, services information, and health care. Please click the link for a complete summary of the topics.
- “Housing” topics focused on affordability, but also addressed assisted living and home modifications and repairs.
- “Services Information” topics included access to, eligibility for, and coordination of home and community based services and supports, as well as the related roles of various state agencies.
- “Health Care” topics were most frequently related to Medicare coverage for medications, Medicaid coverage for services, and encouraging healthy living.
About the Commonwealth Council on Aging:
The Commonwealth Council on Aging is composed of citizens from all walks of life and all geographic areas of the Commonwealth. The Council promotes an efficient, coordinated approach by state government to meeting the needs of older Virginians. View here for an overview of the Council.
The Council has 19 appointed members and five ex-officio members. The Governor appoints 11 members, one from each of Virginia’s congressional districts. Of the remaining eight at-large members, four are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates and four by the Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections. View here for a list of Council Members.
The Council meets quarterly and all meetings are open to the public. Meetings of the Council and each of its committees are announced in advance on the Commonwealth Calendar. Minutes of recent meetings are also available on the Calendar. See links below.
Meetings and Minutes:
September 24, 2014 Quarterly Meeting
(Minutes for 2012 meetings are not posted. Contact us if you need a copy.)
August 27, 2014 Quarterly Meeting
July 9, 2014 Quarterly Meeting -- This meeting has been cancelled.
June 2, 2014 Legislative Committee
April 9, 2014 Legislative Committee Meeting
April 9, 2014 Quarterly Meeting
March 24, 2014 Best Practices Committee Meeting
February 18, 2014 Quarterly Meeting -- Make-up date for January 22, 2014.
January 22, 2014 Quarterly Meeting -- This meeting has been cancelled due to weather.
January 9, 2014 Community Conversation on Aging
September 25, 2013 Quarterly Meeting
July 10, 2013 Quarterly Meeting
July 10, 2013 Legislative Committee
June 24, 2013 Legislative Committee
June 11, 2013 Nominating Committee
May 14, 2013 Community Conversation
April 10, 2013 Quarterly Meeting
April 10, 2013 Planning & Development Committee
March 26, 2013 Best Practices Committee
January 23, 2013 Quarterly Meeting
September 19, 2012 Quarterly Meeting
September 19, 2012 Planning & Development Committee Meeting
September 14, 2012 Best Practices Committee
June 20, 2012 Quarterly Meeting
June 8, 2012 Legislative Committee Meeting
April 11, 2012 Quarterly Meeting
April 11, 2012 Planning & Development Committee Meeting
April 3, 2012 Best Practices Committee
March 5, 2012 Best Practices Committee
All meetings are open to the public, and will be held from 10 am to 2pm at the Virginia Division for the Aging, unless otherwise noted. View directions to VDA. (.pdf)
Resources and other info:
View or download a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (.pdf).
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