I’ve always loved the elderly. When I was young, my mother was a physical therapist who did in-home therapy, and I’d go along with her. Maybe that’s where I became comfortable with seniors. I’m always the one at a social event who will seek out the oldest person there just to hear their stories.
We lost my mother-in-law last May at the age of 90. She lived independently in her own home until a week before her death, and still drove herself to church until a few months before that. But the last year of her life she needed more help from our family than she ever had previously, mostly with financial issues. Or rather, we thought she needed help with finances, she thought she was doing just fine and didn’t want to give up her financial independence; she fought us fiercely when we took away her checkbook because she kept giving her bank account routing and account numbers to scammers and charities over the phone.
It was my experiences with her over the last year and a half that was the genesis for this issue for Fauquier County seniors and their families. We learned so much about the challenges seniors face today as we navigated life with her failing memory and limited mobility. I wanted to bring this out to the community. Little did I know, when I started putting this issue together, that it would just explode with information.
There are county services and groups that help seniors that we found for my mother-in-law, but I have since come to realize that Fauquier County has many people — both in law enforcement and general citizens — who care about seniors, and there are many many more programs out there than I was aware of. Some of them are health and safety related, and some are plain old fun things for seniors to do in our community so they are not so lonely and isolated. Some of these you will find in these pages, but there won’t be room for all of them.
These days, many seniors still live alone, and sometimes far away from their families. I feel it is important for everyone in our community to keep an eye on our senior neighbors and friends as they age and may need more assistance. Fauquier County is ready to help them.
And seniors, please don’t be afraid to reach out for help! Your family, neighbors, fellow church members, physicians, law enforcement, and friends are all out there and would be very willing to assist you, you only have to ask.