Senior Living

Celebrating Our Seniors As We Celebrate Our City’s 275th Anniversary

Wilder Escobedo, Spanish Outreach Coordinator, at a Community Cookout

By MaryAnne Beatty, Outreach, and Mary Lee Anderson, Executive Director, SSA

Alexandria, VA – Alexandria is a city with a rich and diverse history. We live in a port town where immigrants settled, and as we celebrate our 275th anniversary, we are still a city with a diverse population, including our older residents.

Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) has provided services to older adults for over half a century. Our programs focus on four critical areas: Nutrition, Companionship, Transportation, and Information. We serve all city residents 60 years and older. Our mission is to help them age in our community safely and with dignity.

Alexandria is a great place to be a senior, but not everyone knows about the services available through the Division of Aging & Adult Services, SSA, and other nonprofits. As we celebrate the 275th anniversary of this wonderful place, we want to ensure that every resident, including our immigrant communities, knows that

  • Homebound seniors can get meals delivered to their door 365 days a year;
  • Friendly Visitor volunteers are waiting to be matched with socially isolated older adults for weekly visits;
  • DOT Paratransit service provides low-cost transportation for residents living with severe disabilities, and
  • Senior-focused recreation and education programs are available every week at our libraries and rec centers. All this and more are just a phone call away!
Claridge House Exercise Program with Patrick Henry Recreation Center

SSA works hard to get information to the community through our monthly speaker series, senior information corners, and the SSA senior ambassador program. One hundred thirty-seven volunteer ambassadors represent their unique communities and share information about resources relevant to older adults, connecting residents to organizations and city agencies that can help improve their lives. We recognize the importance of reaching older adults who have immigrated to Alexandria, bringing their rich cultural heritage and ready to be part of all the city offers.

As we celebrate Alexandria’s birthday, SSA has connected with the Spanish and Amharic-speaking older adult communities. We are fortunate to have staff members who are fluent speakers of both languages and dedicated to serving these seniors. Information is shared in Spanish at monthly bingo sessions at Casa Chirilagua, ALIVE’s food hubs, and several faith communities.

Glaucoma Screening by the Society for the Prevention of Blindness to the Ethiopian Community

SSA has connected the Ethiopian community with the Prevention of Blindness Society for glaucoma screenings, regular visits by the Alexandria Health Department and the Division of Aging and Adult Services, and weekly exercise programs led by Patrick Henry’s Recreation staff and Goodwin Living Home Health!

SSA is proud of our work with the senior immigrant population, but we can do more! Volunteers play an essential role; we always look for new volunteers and outreach opportunities. Let us know if you are interested in volunteering or have other ideas!

Monthly Bingo at Casa Chirilagua

SSA is proud to be a vital partner in our city. We look forward to serving older adults for the next 275 years. Find out more at our website, seniorservicesalex.org, or by calling 703-836- 4414 ext. 110.

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