An Essential Guide to Local Resources for Seniors

Get to know what's available in your community, from wellness and social activities to residential, health care and support services.

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Mom took a bad spill and now her home of 40 years suddenly feels unsafe. Dad is recovering from a stroke and needs assistance with getting dressed and making meals. Your spouse is showing early signs of memory loss. What should you do?

Some senior health and safety concerns become apparent only once they culminate in an emergency room visit. But making big life decisions in the midst of a crisis is not optimal, and the average hospital stay is about three days. Then what?

“Deeper discussions are often needed when people are negotiating some of their independence,” says James Meenan, director of case management at Virginia Hospital Center. “These are the changes in quality of life that are the hardest. Maybe the solution is allowing someone like a nurse’s aide to come into their home for a few hours per day. Maybe they feel burdened and would like to downsize to a 65+ condo. Some people don’t know what their options are. It’s important to have an empathetic conversation about what is important to them and not just assume you know.”

Of course, the retirement years can also be fun, and myriad studies suggest that physical and social activity help to ward off depression, improve mobility and generally allow seniors to remain independent longer. Happily, our area offers tons of opportunities for this kind of engagement. And many of them are free.

By 2030, some 430,000 Northern Virginians—more than 15 percent of the population—will be 65 or older, according to the Northern Virginia Community Foundation. Here are some helpful resources to guide those important family discussions and decisions, now and in the future.

Senior Centers

Area senior centers offer a broad spectrum of programs and activities, including exercise classes, sports leagues, social events, guest speakers, discussion groups, clubs, games, crafts, music and more.

Arlington Mill Community & Senior Center

909 S. Dinwiddie St., Arlington, 703-228-7369;

Aurora Hills Community & Senior Center

735 18th St. S., Arlington, 703-228-5722;

Bailey’s Senior Center

5920 Summers Lane, Falls Church, 703-820-2131;

Falls Church Senior Center

223 Little Falls St., Falls Church, 703-248-5020;

James Lee Senior Center

2855 Annandale Road, Falls Church, 703-534-3387;

Langston-Brown Community & Senior Center

2121 N. Culpeper St., Arlington, 703-228-6300;

Lee Community & Senior Center and Park

5722 Lee Highway, Arlington, 703-228-0555;

Lewinsville Senior Center

1613 Great Falls St., McLean, 703-442-9075,

Pimmit Hills Senior Center

7510 Lisle Ave., Falls Church, 703-734-3338;

Walter Reed Community & Senior Center

2909 16th St. S., Arlington, 703-228-0955;

Categories: Community