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2019 Best Practices Award

The Commonwealth Council on Aging is sponsoring the 2019 Best Practices Award Program targeted to organizations serving older Virginians and their families.

We thank Dominion Energy for its generous contribution, which allows us to recognize these organizations for their dedication and work in advancing services for the aging.

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Commonwealth Council on Aging 2019 Best Practices Award Winners

The Commonwealth Council on Aging is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Best Practices Awards:

First Place Award ($5,000)

GrandInvolve brings older adults into Fairfax County’s Title I Elementary Schools to volunteer in individual classrooms, offering their skills and talents to work directly with students. GrandInvolve volunteers regularly work in their assigned schools and engage in a variety of helpful activities designed by the teachers. They work directly with students either individually or in small groups. They assist with reading and math, material preparation, library services, mentoring, kindergarten readiness and after school programs. They frequently assist with evening activities. All these activities support the goal of improving school success for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students. Each school which hosts the GrandInvolve program provides a staff member (usually a guidance counselor) who places each volunteer with a teacher after interviewing the volunteer, and surveying the teachers. Once placed, volunteers come at least once a week for several hours. The volunteer returns to the same classroom each time they visit and their volunteer hours are tracked by the front office. Each school has a lead volunteer – called a School Action Team Volunteer – who works within the surrounding community, recruiting volunteers and setting up partnerships which benefit school goals. GrandInvolve leadership teams have developed plans to expand to all 50 Title 1 Schools in the County by 2024. There are currently 160 GrandInvolve volunteers in 18 schools in classrooms of about 25 students.

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Second Place Award ($3,000)

The Hampton Roads division of Senior Living Guide is excited to announce The Legacy Sessions, a new project designed to promote understanding and appreciation for our senior citizen population. Thirty two theater students from Salem High School met with 32 senior residents at Marian Manor Assisted Living in Virginia Beach over the period of three separate visits in November and December of last year. The high school students interviewed the seniors on their philosophies and accomplishments in life. Their observations culminated in a program at Salem High School on December 17, 2018. During this time, the students presented monologues as if they themselves were the senior speaking about their life to the audience. The participating seniors from Marian Manor were in attendance and treated to instrumental music, caroling, and holiday hors d’oeurvres all performed and prepared by instrumental, vocal and culinary students at Salem High School. A visual arts department senior student designed the logo and marketing poster.

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Third Place Award ($2,000)

Senior Connections is actively involved in the effort to help prevent readmissions with a Care Transitions Program in many hospitals within our region with the goal of intervening while the patient is still in the hospital, and continues in the home providing needed resources and support for both the newly released patient and when present, their caregiver. The evidence-based Coleman Coaching Model – Eric Coleman, MD, MPH, and team, University of Colorado Health Services Center - is used to support discharged residents to remain in their homes, while also serving as a link to our agency’s services. By using the Coleman Coaching Model, the coaches are able to encourage the discharged patient to reconcile medication, set a 30-day goal, start of list of questions for the physician and identify red flags to allow him/her and any caregiver assistance to react sooner to avoid another hospital stay. The Coaches also have the opportunity to help the discharged resident access other needed support services through the area agency on aging. She/he might also benefit from home delivery of meals, prescription procedures, and assistance with planning finances and budgets. In addition, Senior Connections can connect him/her to other community resources through programs such as Friendship Cafes that offer nutritional and social aspects of a long-range plan. Thus he/she remains socially connected, an additional health benefit.

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The Council gave honorable mentions to the following organizations:

  • Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) for its Senior Center Inclusion Services, which provides support for people of all abilities to participate in activities within 14 NCS Senior Centers. This program has become a change agent in transforming the Senior Center community in Fairfax County to operate with more inclusiveness for people with disabilities.
  • Peninsula Agency on Aging for its Memory Café, which provides much needed socialization opportunities for individuals with dementia and their caregivers/partners. The Memory Café is currently offered twice monthly at two locations in Williamsburg and attracts approximately 15-20 individuals and their caregiver/partner each session. In 2019, the program will expand to include offerings in the Hampton/Newport News area.
  • Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) for its Open Enrollment Insurance Counselling Mobile Unit, which brings JABA’s highly trained volunteer insurance counselors to community hubs in rural areas during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period. The number of rural seniors served between 2015 (year before Mobile Unit began) and 2018 grew from 307 to 819, a 266% increase. JABA plans to continue to expand the Mobile Unit’s reach in future years.
  • Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens (AASC) for its Generations Intergenerational Day Center, which serves children as young as 6 weeks old to seniors over 90 years of age. Generations Intergenerational Day Center offers children the opportunity to take part in carefully selected, supervised activities with senior citizens.

Learn more in the recent press release from DARS. The Council has recognized organizations as examples of best practices since 2006. A list of these organizations and a brief overview of their programs can be found for 2018, 2017, and 2006-2016.

With support from Dominion Energy, the Council is pleased to offer monetary awards to the top winners: The first place program will receive $5,000; second place, $3,000; and third place, $2,000.

The Aging Programs within the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has three advisory boards. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 2.2-2100, advisory boards provide advice and comment to an executive branch agency or office. An advisory board, commission or council serves as a formal liaison between the agency or office and the public to ensure that the agency or office understands public concerns and that the activities of the agency or office are communicated to the public. An advisory board, commission or council does not serve a regulatory or rule-making purpose. It may participate in the development of public policy by providing comment and advice.

The advisory boards meet quarterly and all meetings are open to the public. All meetings will be held from 10 am to 2pm at the Aging Programs, unless otherwise noted. View directions to VDA.

Upcoming Meetings can be found on the Commonwealth Calendar. You can search by date or by keyword.

Older Adult Financial Exploitation Presentation

Recognizing the need for protection of vulnerable adults, especially those with cognitive impairment, Chris Desimone, a lawyer and a member of the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission, organized a panel of experts that included a geriatrician and Virginia State Police Officer to raise public awareness of financial exploitation, the Crime of the 21st Century, at the Virginia Governor's Conference on Aging in May 2017. Goal three of the Dementia State Plan calls for training and includes the objective to provide dementia specific training to professional first responders, financial services personnel, and the legal profession, identifying financial exploitation as an essential topic.

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission

CCoA LogoThe purpose of the Commission is to assist people with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their caregivers.

The Commission also sponsors a website that is accessible to Virginia citizens who wish to learn more about the Commonwealth's commitment to those affected by Alzheimer's disease. This website contains information that can assist both family members and community service providers. It lists a series of free educational "webinars" on topics that impact persons dealing with the disease. The website is

Powers, Duties & Bylaws    Reports    Members


Commonwealth Council on Aging

CCoA LogoThe purpose of the Council is to promote an efficient, coordinated approach by state government to meeting the needs of older Virginians.

Best Practices Awards    Powers, Duties & Bylaws

Reports    Members


You can find agendas and minutes from past meetings on our SharePoint site. You can also select a committee below to see just that committee's documents.

Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Advisory Board

CCoA LogoThe purpose of the Board is to advise the Commissioner and the local or regional programs that serve as public guardians.



You can find agendas and minutes from past meetings on our SharePoint site. You can also select a committee below to see just that committee's documents.



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