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
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 Living
. Ways 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:
Clean your house one room at a time!
- 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.
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.
: 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.
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-- video
; sew and no-sew instructions
and how to properly wear and care for face coverings
Inurance and Mental Health
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.
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.
Reston for a Lifetime: Sharon.email@example.com
Fairfax County Neighbor2Neighbor: N2N@fairfaxcounty.gov, 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 to
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 my2020census.gov
. 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.
: Thursday, April 23, 12 Noon
: Dr. Vivek Sinh, Belleview Medical Partners, Alexandria, VA
Register: Click here