By Michael Pope
ALEXANDRIA,VA- Will aging seniors be forced out of Alexandria? What is the future of memory care, and how will a growing population of people with dementia live in the city? What are the challenges and opportunities for aging in place in Alexandria? These are some of the questions that will be on the table for Agenda Alexandria’s November meeting on November 25 at the Hermitage.
“The tendency now is to try to support older adults with services that will allow them to age in place and stay in their homes,” says Mary Lee Anderson, executive director of Senior Services of Alexandria. “In the past there was a lot of focus on assisted living and continuous care, but I think now there’s a realization that those are [only] great options for people in certain circumstances, particularly if they have a lot of money.”
Until the 20th century, most people aged with extended families. But after World War II, the nursing home industry became an important part of how people approached aging. Now advances in science are allowing people to live longer than they ever have in previous generations, which is creating new challenges and opportunities for aging in place. It’s become a thriving industry in Alexandria and beyond.
“In the last five years, I’ve seen a huge growth of services providers,”says Vivek Sinha, medical director at Silverado Memory Care Community on King Street. “There are more imaging companies that are able to come out to the home and do
X-rays and ultrasounds and echocardiograms. There are more blood draw companies that can come in and order lab work for their patients in their homes.”
From memory care to home care and everything in between, Agenda Alexandria will discuss the latest trends in the industry and explore what that might mean for the future. The panel discussion will explore trends in the industry as well as look at recent advances in senior care.
“People are not taking advantage of assisted living soon enough,” says Tracey Johnson, director of sales at Sunrise Living of Alexandria. “We’re trying to get the word out that you don’t have to wait until you just absolutely can’t do anything for yourself.”
Jane King is chairwoman of At Home in Alexandria, a nonprofit organization that provides practical, social, and emotional support to Alexandria residents over the age of 55. She developed an interest in creating livable communities for the aging while working for AARP. She is a former chairwoman of the Alexandria Commission on Aging, where she spearheaded the development and implementation of the Alexandria Strategic Plan for Aging.
Mary Lee Anderson is executive director of Senior Services of Alexandria. A Pennsylvania native, she has a bachelor of arts in French from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She worked in international communications for years, then launched a business as a money manager for older adults. She joined Senior Services of Alexandria in 2011 and became executive director in 2013.
Tracey Johnson is director of sales at Sunrise Senior Living of Alexandria. A native of Pittsburg, Johnson moved to Northern Virginia in the early 1990s. She has a bachelor of arts in communications from the University of Pittsburg and a master of arts in human resource management from the Keller Graduate School of Management. She worked as director of admissions at DeVry University Keller Graduate School of Management before working in the senior living industry.
Vivek Sinha is medical director for the Silverado Memory Care Community. A native of St. Asaph in Wales, his family immigrated to America when he was a child. He attended State University of New York at Stony Brook and worked as a firefighter before earning a Doctor of Medicine degree at Saba University School of Medicine in the Caribbean. In 2014, he opened Belleview Medical Partners, a practice in Alexandria that provides house calls for seniors who want to age in place.
What: For the Rest of Our Lives, Aging in Alexandria
Where: Hermitage, 5000 Fairbanks Ave, Alexandria VA 22311
When: Monday, Nov. 25, 2019
Time: Reception starts at 6:30 pm, program starts at 7:15 pm
Cost: $5 at the door, optional dinner for $32