Reston for a Lifetime is group of concerned citizens and organizations seeking to understand the needs and perceptions of Restonians and help create solutions toward making Reston a great place for people of all ages and abilities.

 News to Support Healthy Longevity
April 2020
Special Covid-19 Issue


Daily tips and advice continue as we head into the 5th (6 th?) week of staying home to stay healthy, from lists of things to do to caregiver ideas. Additionally, we add  nonvirus related matters---the Census, absentee voting by mail and a 4/23 Webinar with a local physician.  
Updates and Resources
Covid-19 Information 
Social Distancing 
Things to Do 
Family Caregiver Tips – Covid-19 
Face Coverings - Masks
Insurance Coverage, MH Helpline
Organizing for Help
Vote by Mail
Census 2020 – Still Time
Vote Absentee
Invite – April 23 Online

Social Distancing Takes Planning  
“Being forced to remain in your house for any length of time can set you up for some unhealthy behaviors if you aren’t careful,” cautions this recent blog from Sunrise Senior LivingWays to Stay Healthy and Happy While You Are Self-Isolating or Social Distancing urges a commitment to caring for the mind, body and spirit. 

Eating well begins by stocking the freezer with healthy make-ahead meals. Explore subscribing to a meal delivery service. Try to stay active and avoid sitting for long periods. Check out YouTube with home work-out videos for chair yoga and resistance bands. The National Institute on Aging offers  a wide variety of senior-friendly fitness activities you can work out to on their website including balance and strength training to endurance building. 

Technology has made it easier to connect with people. Video chat with family and friends via Skype, FaceTime, Google Duo and Zoom. Apps are free and simple to use. Staying engaged can take many forms from a park ranger tour through the National Park System to free online performances from artists like John Legend, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks and Bruce Springsteen. Check out Sunrise’s Ways to Stay Healthy for more suggestions and links (Sunrise Senior Living, March 27, 2020. 

Staying at Home: Things to Do
Herndon Village Network has come up with a list:
  • Read a book! Whether you enjoy classic, thriller, suspense, romance, or history, a book will keep you entertained.
  • Take a walk! Get outside when the weather cooperates and enjoy some fresh air. Remember to keep a 6-foot distance.
  • Start a jigsaw puzzle! Great way to keep your mind engaged.
  • Phone or FaceTime! Although you can't see your family or friends in person, a call or a FaceTime chat will lift your spirits.
  • Finish that project! You know you have some ready to complete.
  • Binge watch a TV show! Catch up on those shows that you always wanted to watch.
  • Declutter and organize! Not the first choice of chores but you'll feel a sense of accomplishment.
Clean your house one room at a time! Try the top-to-bottom cleaning method and you'll be done in no time.

Family Caregiver Tips 
Family caregivers often find themselves navigating unchartered waters. The newest challenge for family caregivers is among the most serious— the novel coronavirus, says Sunrise Senior Living Blog, Tips for Family Caregivers During a Pandemic.
Tips on caring for a senior in the home during a pandemic include the obvious frequent handwashing; use of hand sanitizer; avoidance in touching the face; limits on public activity; screening visitors; exploring virtual physician visits. 
Supporting a loved one when you can’t be there takes some creativity. Technology offers tools for face-to-face conversations through FaceTime, Google Duo and Skype and phone calls are always welcome. Organize letter-writing and cards from family members. Develop family videos that could include grandkids telling stories or reading jokes. Send care packages of books, journals, puzzles and other items. (The time between mailing to item delivery should alleviate concerns over any virus contamination.) 
For more ideas, check out Tips for Family Caregivers During a Pandemic (Sunrise Senior Living, March 26, 2020)
The Fairfax County Health Department is sponsoring: “Staying Well Together: Grief and Loss During COVID-19 Webinar.” Session will include information about coping mechanisms and a session on music therapy.  
What: Webinar
When: Friday, April 24, 2020, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. join for a session on Grief and Loss.  Webinar Speakers:  Christina Thomas, LCSW, MSW; and Leigh Jenks, MMT, MT-BC, Blue Ridge Hospice.  
Cost: Free

Face Coverings in Public
Governor Northam has urged Virginians to follow CDC guidelines and wear face coverings when in public spaces where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. These face coverings need not be medical-grade masks, and the CDC provides an instructional video on how to make your own face covering. Read more on how to make your own covering-- videosew and no-sew instructions and how to properly wear and care for face coverings.

Inurance and Mental Health
Cover Virginia has information on Virginia's Medicaid and Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) programs. This resource offers an array of information available regarding healthcare.
Disaster Distress Helpline During this time, it is imperative that we take care of our mental health and also look out for others. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has created a Disaster Distress Helpline which provides access for individuals who seek counseling due to emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This helpline is available all day, every single day. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Anxiety Uptick   
Mental Health America is monitoring daily an increase in anxiety. According to screening data, we experienced a 19 percent increase in screening for clinical anxiety in the first weeks of February, and a 12 percent increase in the first two weeks of March.  Mental Health America, representing community-based nonprofits, addresses the needs of those living with mental illness through advocacy and public policy efforts. Click here for resources and updates
Organizing for Help
Covid-19 has unleashed a torrent of help from individuals and groups to assist those in need. A community model already in place demonstrates how individuals can help one another, particularly those 55+. To this point, Reston for a Lifetime’s mission is to assist clusters, condo associations and neighborhoods in supporting older adults who desire to remain in their homes as they age. This” virtual village” approach is modeled after an initiative begun in Boston nearly  20 years ago. In Reston, it’s  Neighbors Helping Neighbors  (see Reston for a Lifetime website for sample materials). 
A number of clusters and groups of single family homes in Reston have established Neighbors Helping Neighbors (also called Caring Groups). Efforts look to volunteers to provide services such as light household chores (plumbing needs), change a light bulb, pick up groceries (COVID-19), check-in calls. Reston for a Lifetime is pleased to assist with online materials and one-on-one conversations (via phone currently) about starting NHN in your area.
Fairfax County’s initiative  Neighbor 2 Neighbor assists homeowners associations , civic and community organizations interested in creating opportunities for neighbors to communicate and support aging in place.                                                  
Further Information:
Reston for a Lifetime:, 202-669-1244
Fairfax County Neighbor2Neighbor:, 703-246-8962
Covid-19 Community Support Materials – Document includes multiple downloads--generic grocery shopping guide; and recruiting, organizing and onboarding volunteers.

Absentee Voting Recommended – June Congressional Primary 
Democrats in the 11th Congressional District (Rep. Gerry Connolly is the current Representative) are scheduled to  vote in a primary (Virginia Legislature to confirm date).  To protect one’s health, Virginians are urged to vote absentee by mail using the excuse 2A – “My disability or illness.”  To request an absentee ballot, go
Census 2020
As of mid-April, 50.2 percent of Americans had responded to the Census and 55.4 percent of Virginians. Are you one of them? Census data determines the amount of funding distributed to Virginia and Fairfax County by the Federal government. According to the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade for each person who does not respond to the census.

Here’s how to complete the census questionnaire. Respond by going to  If you do not have a census ID, click here. You will be asked basic information about the adults, children, and babies that live at your current address. Include EVERYONE who lives at the listed address, not only family members.There is NO citizenship question on the census. Responses are used only for statistical purposes and cannot be shared with other agencies, including law enforcement or immigration officials.

Home-Based Providers and Covid-19 – April 23 Webinar
Reston for a Lifetime is pleased to partner with ProAging
for a conversation with Dr. Vivek Sinh.  As a front-line provider, Dr. Vivek Sinh delivers home-based care to patients. Plenty of time will be available for questions. 
What: Webinar 
When: Thursday, April 23, 12 Noon
Cost: Free
Speaker: Dr. Vivek Sinh, Belleview Medical Partners, Alexandria, VA
Register: Click here
Stay Healthy...Stay Safe 
Reston for a Lifetime
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