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2023 Conference Presentations


The 2023 VGCOA program explored the spectrum of aging services in Virginia, it provided a forum for discussion about what is currently happening, how we responded over the past two years, and what we see on the horizon. 


Over the course of two days, the following sessions were held. Below you will find access to the presentations shared by presenters during the two days.

The link below will take you a Google Drive folder where all 2023 Presentations are stored.

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At Risk: Caregiving Youth

 This session will raise awareness and knowledge about the Caregiving Youth Crisis, a largely hidden challenge connected to the care of aging Virginians and others with chronic needs. We introduce a model program for supporting youth caregivers, which has been shown to also elevate interests in health career choices. In addition, we argue for innovations in public instruction that can improve caregiver appreciation and preparation.

  • Dr. Richard Lindsay, The Lindsay Institute for Innovations in Caregiving

  • Dr. Rhonda Zingraff, James Madison University

  • Charlie Poole, Caregiver, Student, Christopher Newport University  


Partnerships with Community-Based Organizations

"Community based organizations (CBOs) provide a broad array of social services, have in-depth knowledge of their localities, and are trusted by the populations they serve. Healthcare entities and payers are becoming increasingly interested in ensuring patients’ health related social needs are addressed, presenting opportunities to partner with CBOs. Community Integrated Health Networks (CIHN) can help facilitate these partnerships. 

Participants will learn about: 
•    The One Stop Shop Business Model of VAAACares®, an emerging CIHN
•    A Scan of the Healthcare Landscape: Opportunities for Partnerships
•    Sustainable Funding for Health Related Social Needs
•    Challenges of Developing Partnerships 
•    The Virginia Community Integrated Health Network (CIHN) Collaborative
•    Benefits of Joining a CIHN


Attendees will be invited to determine their organization’s interest and readiness to join a CIHN by considering 5 key questions.

  • Dr. Barry Gross, Bay Aging

  • Fran Anderson, Bay Aging


Manifesting our Future: A Collaborative Approach to Developing a New Generation of LTC Administrators

This session will highlight the on-going, collaborative efforts of the Department of Health Professions, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology, and LeadingAge Virginia to support the development of long-term care administrators to ensure that the Commonwealth benefits from a strong pipeline of capable and well-prepared long-term care leaders.


The session will focus on two themes:

1) The current picture and future projections with regard to the supply of long-term care administrators in the Commonwealth as seen from the view of the Virginia Department of Health Professions; and

2) Current efforts to strengthen the pipeline of prospective administrators and to prepare them for serving in the field being pursued by Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology and LeadingAge Virginia.

Learning Objectives:

  • To present results of multi-year surveys of Assisted Living and Nursing Home Administrators by the Department of Health Professions, demonstrating high job satisfaction and also a coming wave of retirements for which we need to plan.

  • To highlight recent regulatory updates to the proposed pathway to licensure for individuals with significant work experience in lieu of higher education.

  • To highlight the role of the NAB accredited VCU Masters of Gerontology as a pathway to licensure as an Assisted Living Administrator, as well as the new accelerated Masters of Gerontology program and how these programs can form the basis of university-long-term care provider partnerships.

  • To highlight the contribution of VCU Gerontology’s Residential Care and Assisted Living Licensing Exam Preparation course as it currently exists, and the development of an online, on-demand course that will be launched in 2023.

  • To highlight LeadingAge Virginia's  on-line resource to support those interested in becoming a long-term care administrator with the tools needed to complete licensure requirements, including a roadmap to assist applicants with guidance on how many hours will be needed to complete an Administrator-In-Training program based on their experience and education.

  • Corie Tillman-Wolf, Virginia Department of Health Professions

  • Dana Parsons, LeadingAge Virginia 

  • Jenny Inker, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Jennifer Pryor, Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia LTC Pilot Projects for Pandemics & Disasters 

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the fragile state of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) in Virginia and elsewhere. The 2022 National Academies’ consensus report on nursing home quality concluded that: “The way in which the United States finances, delivers, and regulates care in nursing home settings is ineffective, inefficient, fragmented, and unsustainable.” Clearly, this is a call-to-arms for better care and support of some of the most vulnerable persons in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) was awarded $9.9M from the CDC Nursing Home & Long-Term Care Facility Strike Team and Infrastructure Project to fund more innovative ways to address pandemics and disasters for these vulnerable persons. The program is now called the “Virginia Long-Term Care Infrastructure Pilot Project” (VLIPP). Nine competitively-reviewed projects from Virginia organizations received funding: Carilion Medical Center (safety and equity in Southwestern Virginia skilled nursing facilities); Eastern Virginia Medical School with VPM Richmond (nursing home challenging behaviors); Health Quality Innovators (assisted living facility and adult day care infection control); LeadingAge Virginia (adult day care infection control policies); University of Virginia (infection control center of excellence), Virginia Commonwealth University (long-term care clinician network); Virginia Department of Health-Division of Pharmacy Services (antibody prevention of COVID-19); Virginia Department of Social Services (infection control for assisted living facilities with underserved populations, adult day care, family caregivers and field workers); and Virginia Health Care Association (full integration of nursing homes and assisted living facilities into all aspects of disaster planning).


The learning objectives for this session are to:

1) Briefly describe each program to increase public awareness.

2) Discuss the innovative nature of these programs. 

3) Show that Virginia is a national leader in LTCF innovations to protect our most vulnerable citizens during pandemic and disasters.

  • Dr. Paul F. Aravich, Eastern Virginia Medical School

  • Sarah Lineberger, Virginia Department of Health

  • Jessica Caggiano, Virginia Department of Health

Caregiver Support: Meeting the Diverse Needs of Family Caregivers

The needs of family caregivers have likely not changed significantly in the past few years but increased isolation, stress and changes in available services have raised awareness of the impact of these circumstances have on family caregivers. VPAS surveyed caregivers to identify the needs they had and looked for innovative ways to meet those needs. At the same time, in-home caregiver services were eliminated because of difficulty with finding professional caregivers. VPAS adapted and implemented a variety of virtual and in-person individual and group caregiver support services. Additionally VPAS offered respite care and vouchers, professional counseling, legal services, mediation services and mini-retreats to meet the varied needs of family caregivers. VPAS continues to build on these programs to meet the diverse needs of family caregivers. Objectives: Summarize and discuss the needs of family caregivers Learn about innovative services Focus on ways to build on lessons learned

  • Joyce Nussbaum, Valley Program for Aging Services

  • Kathy Guisewite, Valley Program for Aging Services 

Setting the PACE for Aging in Virginia 

Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens’ Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) allows individuals 55 years of age and older who qualify for nursing home level of care to remain in their homes and communities as long as safely possible. PACE addresses the social determinants of health, promotes social engagement and reduces social isolation. With a focus by the Department of Medical Assistance Services to encourage programs in all areas of the Commonwealth, PACE is the future of aging in Virginia. 

PACE connects affordable housing, transportation, health care and support services that contribute to improving participants’ quality of life. All of these services intersect to provide communities for the future. Transportation is a major component of the program and is provided from the participant’s home to the PACE center for medical care, physical therapy, nutritious meals, socialization and activities. Transportation is also provided to any specialized medical appointments such as to the dentist, optometrist, or hearing specialist and for surgery, trips to dialysis or cancer treatment. 

Session participants will learn about the PACE program and how a rural area agency on aging has operated the program for 14 years, and has recently expanded its service area to four additional counties and one city. Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens will illustrate how area agencies on aging can partner with PACE programs to deliver the additional services and resources PACE participants may need, such as home-delivered meals and in-home care assistance. The program also relies on community partners for referrals and contracts for other specialized medical services. This session will also demonstrate how PACE is also an economic driver for jobs and adds a boost to the communities where it operates.

AASC will share success stories to illustrate how PACE enhances health outcomes and improves the quality of life for participants.

  • Brian Beck, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens

  • Wayne Damron, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens

  • Dana Collins, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens

  • Andy Altizer, Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens

Aging Strong

The Aging Strong Friendship Cafe is a partnership between Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging and the YMCA. The partnership is a blend of the Senior Connections Friendship Cafe and the YMCA's Aging Strong Program to create a unique space for older adults to connect. 

  • Missi Boyer, The Capital Area Agency on Aging

  • William Thornton, YMCA of Greater Richmond


How Genworth is Paving the Way for Employee Caregivers & Older Adults in Virginia

Genworth, a Fortune 500 financial services company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is revolutionizing the way we support employees who are caring for older adults in their families and communities. Come learn more about why Genworth is a great place to work for caregivers, especially in a hybrid working environment.

Our panel will address, among other things:

  • Employee Caregiver Benefits: How our Human Resources department intentionally considered the needs of caregivers in tailoring the supports available to them

  • Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Strategy Integration: How and why caregiver support and empowerment are critical components of our D&I strategy, including the creation of a new, active employee resource group dedicated to caregivers (CARES ERG)

  • ​Business Strategy Touchpoints: How we utilize learnings from employee caregiver experiences to help inform Care and Wellness initiatives that will empower millions of Genworth policyholders, including thousands in the Commonwealth, to age successfully on their own terms.

In addition, attendees will hear directly from Genworth’s employee caregivers, who will speak to their personal experiences navigating providing support to their loved ones while utilizing the offerings and benefits available to them to help address various needs. Finally, panelists will share insights into how the 2022 National Family Caregiver Strategy has helped informed Genworth’s approach to future caregiver support initiatives – for both employees as well as policyholders and their families.  By showcasing this combination of employee support and business strategy, we hope panel attendees will be able to takeaway some practical and useful ideas for their own businesses, agencies, or themselves.

  • Lynn White, Genworth Financial 

  • Mel Smith, Genworth Financial 

  • Colleen Dennis, Genworth Financial 


The Current Trends Impacting the Care of Older Adults

 Session description: See below: Objectives:

1. Define current trends impacting the care of older adults

2. Explore strategies for addressing trends

3. Identify resources for staying abreast of current trends and addressing them

4. Provide tools and strategies for assessing current systems and creating change

  • Denise Scruggs, Beard Center on Aging 

  • Annette Clark, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services  

Sustaining Virtual Programming in an In-Person World

In 2020 the pandemic shut down in person programming and Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, like many others, had to figure out how to keep older adults engaged, connected and active. In April we launched a virtual social hour 3 days a week in collaboration with our partners at ServiceSource Inc. and other county agencies such as Department of Family Services. This quickly grew to a five-day per week program with ten virtual activities offered per day! To date, the Virtual Center for Active Adults (VCAA) has served 64,000 individuals, in over 3,400 instructor led virtual activities and has a virtual library of over 25 on-demand videos! The Fairfax County’s VCAA program continues to provide instructor led activities to older adults and adults with disabilities that allow them to stay connected, stay active and combat isolation. With many lessons learned and “ah-ha” moments we supported varying learning needs to access the platform and reached those with limited to no technology access and navigated the how’s of creating and using a new virtual platform. Through collaboration with dedicated County and Contract staff we now have an award-winning program that continues to expand to keep up with the changing needs of the population. We’ve successfully launched a hybrid model of virtual programming that is accessible to all individual to access form their homes as the programs can be streamed live at our centers. Additionally, we have successfully incorporated an on-demand library and cultivated partnerships with local jurisdictions. We look forward to telling our story, lessons learned and future of active virtual programming to keep All older Adults connected to their communities.


Session Objectives:

• Overview of history of virtual programming for older adults in Fairfax County

• Identify resources and partnerships that are helpful in creating a successful virtual platform

• Past Present and Future Benefits of Virtual Programming

• Innovative strategies to overcome challenges/barriers

• Pivoting to keep up with changing community needs

• Developing creative strategies to sustain virtual programming now and in the future. 

  • Tara Turner, Fairfax Area Agency on Aging

  • Keesha Gill, Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services

  • Kristin Roman, ServiceSource Inc.

  • Anouphone Anita Chinyavong, ServiceSource Inc.


Solutions-Focused Partnerships and Technology: Virginia is HEAR for Elder Justice

 Researchers and health officials across Virginia, the U.S., and the globe are sounding the alarm: cases of abuse have skyrocketed (Jain, 2021; Peitzmeier, et al., 2021; UN, 2021). Described as “a pandemic within a pandemic” (Evans et al., 2020), evidence shows the COVID-19 pandemic led to a stark increase in the number of cases of elder abuse (Chang & Levy, 2021). Even before the pandemic altered life as we knew it, cases of elder abuse had been steadily rising. At Virginia Commonwealth University, the Virginia Center on Aging’s (VCoA) Abuse in Later Life Project has been centering the issue of elder mistreatment and abuse for decades.


Now, the team is partnering with No Wrong Door Virginia and Virginia Tech to develop and launch community-based solutions. With a focus on underserved communities, VCoA will work to mitigate barriers to reporting elder abuse and help link elders to systems of care, resulting in increased service utilization that will improve safety and well-being. Session attendees will learn about the trends above and about Virginia Helping Elders Access Resources (HEAR), one of six Elder Justice Innovation Grants given out by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). The goal of these projects is to improve results for adult protective services (APS) clients. During our VGCOA session, we will seek feedback on the web-based tool (developed with No Wrong Door) and solution-focused intervention (developed with Virginia Tech) being developed as part of the Virginia HEAR project. After incorporating ideas from the VGCOA audience, development will continue into and conclude in the late summer, at which point we will pilot test our intervention and tool in rural southwest Virginia. 

  • Dr. Sarah Marrs, Virginia Commonwealth University 

  • Courtney O'Hara, Virginia Commonwealth University 

  • Catherine MacDonald, Virginia Commonwealth University 


Valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion with elders "Dreaming Home!" 

What do elders of diverse backgrounds in the greater Richmond, Virginia, region value and desire related to elder living? The “Dreaming Home” project, sponsored by LeadingAge Virginia and five Life Plan Communities, will empower diverse elders with information about senior living options. Through listening to elders from many backgrounds, the sponsor organizations will learn how to adapt and become more welcoming to new resident groups. Key elder demographics included in this project include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, ability, and veteran status.

The Dreaming Home project will:

• Inclusively help to identify elder living desires based on diverse populations’ values

• Empower elders with information on options and services available that might help to bring their vision of “home” to reality,

• Help sponsoring organizations design services and offerings that incorporate the values of elder from multiple social identities and cultures.

• Help sponsoring organizations adapt to become more welcoming communities. During this project, each sponsor is also strengthening their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by gathering information from residents and staff about their organizational culture of inclusion. All sponsors will hold focus groups and workshops with staff and residents to better understand the lived experiences within each organization.


During this session, attendees will:

• Understand the importance of inclusively hearing the voices of elders

• Learn themes shared from participating elders on what they desire – within and across different elder demographic populations

• Receive a roadmap on replicating this project in their community to better serve elders of diverse populations.

• Hear considerations from the Leading Home Virginia Dreaming Home “Inclusive Practices for Elder Living” Report

  • Melissa Andrews, LeadingAge Virginia

  • Gayle Haglund, Westminster Canterbury Richmond

  • Delores Kimbrough, Kimbrough Consulting


Does your address influence the care you receive for dementia in the Virginia?

Social determinants of health are fundamental drivers of differences in health outcomes. Inequities in healthcare in Alzheimer disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD) disproportionally affect historically marginalized populations. Despite higher rates of underdiagnoses and delayed diagnosis; studies showed higher prevalence rates, and inappropriate treatment of ADRD in those groups. For a multidimensional measure of areal disadvantage, the Area Deprivation Index (ADI) incorporates data on education, housing, employment, income, and poverty from census data. The ADI has been extensively studied as a valid neighborhood-disadvantage metric across multiple health outcomes. Previous research shows the interplay between socioeconomic, cultural, and biologic factors in ADRD. Our goal for this session is to present the effect ADI has in dementia evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment in the State of Virginia.

The specific aims of are:

1) Define the Area Deprivation Index (ADI), its interpretation and applicability in population health studies

2) Characterize how the ADI influences the clinical evaluation and diagnosis of ADRD in Virginia

3) Characterize how the ADI influences the treatment of ADRD in Virginia This session will map the geographical areas where dementia work-up and diagnosis in the state of Virginia might be suboptimal.


This information is indispensable in properly understanding geographical inequities in the state and providing guidance in the development of strategies to improve ADRD outcomes. Our work will guide future policy priorities in improving population health in Virginia

  • Pavel Chernyavskiy, University of Virginia School of Medicine

  • Anelyssa D' Abreu, University of Virginia School of Medicine

Home Health Interdisciplinary Approach to Collaborative Care for those with Dementia

 This presentation will demonstrate how home health agencies can adapt the Carilion Clinic Home Care (CCHC) dementia care program to promote better care and support of patients and families suffering from dementia with existing resources and home health practices. We will also share how to deploy this program’s collaborative model of care to primary care providers and community providers and partnering agencies. Outcome data will be presented as part of the presentation. Carilion Clinic Home Care is a home health agency in southwest Virginia serving 6 geographical regions, serving over 1 million beneficiaries. We recognized that our patients with dementia were slipping through the cracks of the traditional medical care model. Needs of patients weren’t met, and caregivers did not know how to manage the care of their loved ones at home. Medical providers faced time constraints and knowledge gaps affecting their ability to educate families and provide needed support. In 2014, CCHC developed an innovative home health Dementia Care program to address the identified needs of these patients.


To date, over 4000 patients have been served. The program provides education and support to patients and their caregivers in managing dementia at home, enhances shared information between home care and primary care providers, teaches caregivers how to optimize the patient’s function with everyday tasks, and follows patients throughout the course of the disease to include a seamless transition to hospice when appropriate. CCHC staff use evidence-based cognitive and functional assessments to identify cognitive deficits and strengths and develop person-centered treatment interventions to promote best possible safe function within the home. Caregivers receive a dementia manual that includes information on resources specific to their region, and staff help families find assistance to keep their loved one at home or find appropriate long-term care supports and services if needed.

  • Lisa Hebert Meritt, Carilion Clinic Home Care 

  • Dr. Brian Unwin, Carilion Clinic Center for Healthy Aging

  • Shannon Radmacher, Carilion Clinic Home Care


Who You Gonna Call? Informing & Educating Virginians

A panel with representatives from four agencies will share how they protect and advocate for older Virginians and adults with disabilities living in nursing homes, ALFs and in the community. Advocates with disAbility Law Center of Virginia, Long Term Care Ombudsmen with Area Agencies on Aging, Medicaid Managed Care Advocates with Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman, and Family Service Specialists with Adult Protective Services work independently and collaboratively to advocate, inform, educate, investigate, and protect the rights of Virginians who live in nursing homes, ALFs and the community.


Learning Objectives

1. Participants will learn about the services and supports provided by disAbility Law Center of Virginia, Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, Medicaid Managed Care Advocate Program, and Adult Protective Services.

2. Participants will identify which agency to call for information or services if the rights and/or well-being of an older Virginian or adult with a disability are threatened.

3. Participants will learn how the four agencies collaborate to better meet the needs of Virginians. 

  • Carol Cooper Driskill, disAbility Law Center of Virginia 

  • Tamar Goodale, Jefferson Area Board for Aging

  • Linda J. Hamrick, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services 

  • Cindy Smith, Wise County Department of Social Services

Disrupting Ageism and Ableism in the Aging Network: A Free Online Toolkit

This highly interactive session will present the evidence-based Age and Ability Inclusive Toolkit for Senior Living developed by Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology, The Eden Alternative, Pioneer Network, and LeadingAge with funding from RRF Foundation for Aging. The project has resulted in the development of a user-friendly, free, online toolkit that provides practical guidance and assistance on how to address sustainable, positive change related to ageism and ableism within organizations working in the aging network.


The toolkit includes the following downloadable tools which will be demonstrated during the session:

1) An organizational culture change assessment tool relating to ageism and ableism targeting change at the organization level.

2) Best practice guidance, tools and resources relating to non-ageist and non-ableist staff recruitment, onboarding, and retention at the workforce level.

3) Ageism self-assessment tools for individuals.

4) An evidence-based ageism video training, inclusive of a workbook and facilitator guide, to improve awareness of ageism and attitudes and behaviors related to ageism at the individual level.



1) Participants will recognize the existence and impact of ageism and ableism in the aging network at an individual and organizational level.

2) Participants will become familiar with the tools they can use to identify and change attitudes about aging in their organizations both at an individual and an organizational (cultural) level.

3) Participants will be encouraged to share feedback about the content and design of the toolkit that will be used to ensure it meets users’ needs on an on-going basis. 

  • Jenny Inker, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology 

  • Tracey Gendron, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology


Empowering Seniors Against Healthcare Fraud

Healthcare fraud has spiked since the start of the pandemic and, for obvious reasons, seniors continue to be targeted for these scams more than other demographic groups. Stemming these occurrences is difficult due to advances in technology that allow scammers to conduct their activities increasingly in the shadows. In addition, the highly adaptive nature of scammers and lack of reporting by victims also lends to the growth of these crimes. The Senior Medicare Patrol is committed to helping seniors avoid and report these scams whenever possible.


In this presentation, the SMP team will share

1) information on the top healthcare scams affecting seniors,

2) details and resources for identifying and avoiding the scams and

3) insight about the partnerships that have been developed to support the SMP's efforts and senior needs relating to scams.


The goal of the presentation is to equip participants to support seniors in preventing, detecting and reporting healthcare errors fraud and abuse.


At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

1. Identify the top 3 healthcare scams affecting seniors

2. Understand tips and resources used for identifying/avoiding those scams

3. Understand what steps to take if a senior is a victim of healthcare fraud or suspects fraud on their healthcare account.

  •  Shawn Smith, Virginia Area Agencies on Aging/Senior Medicare Patrol 


Stronger Memory: An Innovative & Accessible Solution to Improve Brain Health

Innovative solutions are needed as our aging population increases and the workforce decreases. Accessible programs that provide ways for individuals to maintain independence, prolong the need for higher levels of care, and live well as long as possible are more important than ever. StrongerMemory is a freely accessible brain health program where participants spend 30 minutes a day reading aloud, doing simple math, and writing by hand. These exercises activate the prefrontal cortex and result in improved recall and focus. Participants have been found to remember information better, and George Mason University has found positive outcomes as well through their research of the program. Listen to the StrongerMemory team and our partner at HQI talk about how this program has built momentum and is reaching 100 Virginia nursing homes through a CMP grant.


By the end of this session participants will be able to:

1. Practice 3 brain health exercises they can do to improve recall & focus.

2. Understand challenges and successes of the program's growth process

3. Identify best practices for rolling out a large-scale health movement

4. Understand how to bring StrongerMemory to your community.

  • Jessica Fredericksen, Goodwin Living

  • Theresa Mandela, StrongerMemory

  • Sheila McLean, Health Quality Innovators


Growing Capacity through Volunteerism: Meet the Boom of Older Adults

Staff shortages are limiting the ability of senior services to support those in their community due to capacity. Compounded with 10,000 people of the Boomer Generation turning 65 each day (Aslanyan, 2021). AAAs aren’t ready for the influx of needs, but with proper volunteer services in place they can get ready. Highly skilled and professional individuals can build the internal capacity of the organization through volunteerism. Independent Sector reported that the value of volunteer time in VA equates to $30.50 an hour. Many organizations have not fully leveraged volunteers to work in professional placements due to concerns about staff’s ability to recruit highly skilled volunteers, dedicate time to onboarding, and leverage technology in an aging world. However, by embracing their strongest supporters, volunteers, senior service organizations are capable of reaching their true potential. With the tools in this presentation, staff with limited time can identify volunteer opportunities to maximize their impact and time. As volunteers are equipped, staff gain confidence when delegating high-level tasks and programs to volunteers that are vital to future success. The presentation will not disregard the limited time that attendees are able to invest into their training and resources for their volunteers but work to streamline the process for staff. Whether building a volunteer program from the ground up or revamping their programs to increase reach, attendees will have the tools to implement best practices, while respecting staff time and resources.



1. Identify areas for innovation of new volunteer placements to expand capacity.

2. Discover recruitment strategies for highly skilled volunteers for specific needs within organization and community.

3. Leverage technology for hybrid program development and expansion, including out of area volunteers.

4. Streamline onboarding process to maximize staff and volunteer time.

5. Explore data collection strategies used to communicate impact for volunteer retention. ​

  • Winter Broadhurst, Jefferson Area Board for Aging 

  • Teresa Cooper, Jefferson Area Board for Aging 


Partnerships to Increase Access to Supportive Services for Homeless Older Adults: A Blueprint for Action

The national affordable housing crisis is forcing an increasing number of older adults with age-related social determinants of health issues into homelessness. In 2020, the share of people experiencing sheltered homelessness who were 55 and older was 18 percent, up from 16.5 percent in 2019. Importantly, while most homeless older adults were in the 55 to 64 age range, increases in older adult homelessness were driven mostly by the rising share of elderly adults—those 65 and older. This group represents one of the most vulnerable and least resourced age groups. Homeless older adults are at a unique intersection of the aging services and homeless services sectors. Despite shared missions these two sectors have traditionally operated independently of one another. It is more important than ever Area Agencies on Aging, and the aging providers, are aware of older adult homelessness, link missions with homeless services providers to develop the cross-sector relationships needed to produce innovative solutions for this unique population, and leverage efforts to answer the call to serve the most vulnerable and under resourced elders in their communities.


This session will explore:

• The emerging crisis of aged homelessness, underlying challenges to aged homelessness, pathways to late-life homelessness.

• The unique characteristics of this population and unique risk factors that increase vulnerability.

• The homeless continuum of care and the unique barriers to preparing elders for housing programs.

• Creating and maintaining community and advocacy partnerships across the aging and homeless continuum of care to enhance service delivery, access to supportive services, increase positive health outcomes, and housing stability (with real-life examples from the Commonwealth).

• How formalized partnerships and the leveraging and utilizing of existing resources and infrastructure to develop innovative programs benefits organizations, to include generating financial support from non-aging and non-HUD sources. 

  • Rebecca Brown, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia

  • Fatima Tomlin, Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia


What's Hot in Virginia Guardianship?

Approximately 12,000 adults are subject to guardianship in Virginia. In 2021 the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) completed a comprehensive report with recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on Improving Virginia’s Adult Guardian and Conservator System.  

The Report prompted 2022 legislation, and promises the introduction of additional bills in 2023. In addition, the Report triggered a significant 2022 guardianship innovation grant from the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL) to the Virginia Supreme Court. 

A panel of four experts will highlight legislative measures in 2022 and 2023, any resulting changes in practice, and the objectives of the ACL grant in the following areas set out by JLARC: 

  • Less Restrictive Options and Restoration of Rights – the loss of fundamental rights resulting from guardianship, the range of less restrictive decisional options, and recent enacted and proposed changes.  

  • Standards and Training Requirements for Guardians and Conservators – the outcome of a 2022 legislative workgroup on required guardian visits to the adults they serve; and assessment of the need and nature of guardian and conservator training.

  • Current and Proposed Oversight of Guardians and Conservators – Virginia’s unique role of Adult Protective Services and the Commissioners of Accounts in guardian and conservator monitoring; as well as legislative changes and JLARC recommendations to bolster oversight.  

  • Case Management and Monitoring Improvements Under the ACL Grant – the Court’s plans for enhanced case management and data collection, and how these improvements will strengthen access to justice in guardianship/conservatorship statewide. 

Attendees will gain an understanding of guardianship/conservatorship as a last resort; why standards and training are needed for private guardians/ conservators; and how monitoring of – and information collection about -- guardians and conservators will be supported under the grant. Stakeholders will learn how these changes affect their professional and family responsibilities.  ​

  • Paul DeLosh, Supreme Court of Virginia

  • Sally Hurme, Elder Law Attorney

  • Pamela Teaster, Virginia Tech Center for Gerontology/Department of Human Development and Family Science

Veteran Directed Care - A Collaboration of Community Care

Veteran Directed Care: A Collaboration of Community Care Bay Aging’s Veteran Directed Care (VDC) program offers a unique opportunity for nursing home eligible veterans to remain independent in their own home as they age. Veterans receiving their health services through a participating Veterans Affairs Medical Center may request a referral for VDC through their primary care physician. Person-centered counselors assist veterans through the process of hiring employees to provide for their personal care needs and work with veterans to develop a budget based on funding provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) to pay for these services. Veterans of any age are eligible for VDC. Financial management services including employer/employee enrollment, payroll and tax reporting, and billing are also provided by Bay Aging. Bay Aging has collaborated with the VA and other Area Agencies on Aging and Centers for Independent Living to bring the program to life in many communities throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Mid-West portions of the United States. Our partnerships have evolved and adapted to the specific needs of each area. We work with community partners to help veterans gain access to benefits they have earned from the VA through their service to our country.


Learning objectives include the following:

1. Attendees will learn what Veteran Directed Care is and how a veteran can enroll.

2. Attendees will learn what other resources are available to veterans and their families from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and how DVS can assist in enrolling veterans in VA Health Services.

3. Attendees will learn about the positive impact VDC has on veterans and their families as well as other VA programs that will promote an independent and healthy lifestyle.

4. Attendees will learn how Bay Aging leveraged technology to continue to provide and increase service to veterans during the pandemic. 

  • Melissa Blake, Bay Aging 

  • Marcus Brooks, Virginia Department of Veterans Services

  • Stephanie Alexis Rummel, Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC


How Virginia's Technology Assistance Program (TAP) Can Help Seniors with Hearing Loss

The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) offers specialized telecommunication equipment and assistive technology devices to qualified applicants as a solution to their communication needs through the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). To qualify for TAP you must be a resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, meet income eligibility requirements (for equipment at no cost) and fall into one of the following categories: Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Person with difficulty speaking. Available equipment through TAP includes: Amplified telephones, Assistive Listening Devices, Captioned telephones, cell phone amplifiers, as well as alerting devices and accessories. Attendees will learn about the various types of equipment available through TAP, the application process, as well as eligibility requirements.

  • Felecia Smith, Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

  • Brittany Howard, Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Becoming a Caring Neighbor- Community Initiative

The Caring Neighbor program is an innovative model in which local volunteers assist family caregivers, older adults or adults with disabilities, with nonmedical assistance in their own homes in order to maintain independence and reduce isolation. Peninsula Agency on Aging's Caring Neighbors program provides non-medical transportation, safety check-in calls, friendly/canine companion visits, and light housekeeping services to individuals 60 and over and adults with a disability living. Volunteer drivers address unmet transportation needs by providing rides to individuals who otherwise would not be able to go grocery shopping, go to the bank, laundromat, or attend programs in the community. Volunteers also make friendly visits and/or safety check-in calls depending on clients’ preferences. Volunteers express they receive as much benefit from their services as the care recipients.


Attendees will be able to

1) design and implement a Caring Neighbors program model within their community

2) identify and establish community partnerships for the Caring Neighbors initiative

3) learn techniques to evaluate program effectiveness​

  • Diane Hartley, Peninsula Agency On Aging 

  • Randi Keesee, Peninsula Agency On Aging

  • Kerry Greenhill, Peninsula Agency On Aging


Be Stroke Smart, Stay Stroke Smart

Strokes are the number one cause of long-term disability, striking 1 in 6 of us, with those odds worsening with increasing age. Strokes can devastate life in an instant. Although effective medication to treat strokes has been available since 1996, studies show that up to 80% of stroke patients arrive at the hospital too late to receive that medication, simply because they don't recognize the emergency that is a stroke. There is hope! The Northern Virginia EMS Council works with mayors and county board chairs to educate all who live, work, pray and play in each jurisdiction to recognize the signs of a stroke and be confident in the immediate need to call 911 as soon as a stroke is suspected. This presentation will accomplish one overarching objective: attendees will learn to save lives and reduce disability from strokes by knowing how to implement the Stroke Smart program in their area. Attendees will study the Council's successful implementation methods deployed across Northern Virginia and appreciate how to deliver the Stroke Smart message themselves. 


A 3-minute video showcasing our methods and methodologies, with a foreword featuring our former and current governors, is available here:


A progress map detailing program implementation throughout Northern Virginia is available here: Stroke Smart Virginia Progress Map (

  • Margaret Probst, Northern Virginia EMS Council


Identify Best Practices to Support/ Empower Caregivers - Informal Round Table

How can we as caregiver support professionals assist caregivers to care for themselves and expand resources available to these unsung heroes holding up our long-term care system? How can we create a system to lean on each other as we provide this education and guidance? The intent of this session is to bring providers together to informally explore these questions. As time allows, we will discuss individual program successes, impacts of current trends, and explore challenges that caregivers are experiencing. Contact information will be shared within the group of those who would like to continue in this type of networking opportunity beyond the conference. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “caregivers are at increased risk for having multiple chronic diseases as they may neglect their own personal health needs while providing care to others.” Additionally, caregivers tend to have lower levels of self-care and preventive health behaviors, due primarily to the time and energy they expend in their role and the stress and exhaustion that result from it. Let’s see how we can work together to push back on this truth.

  • Group Facilitation provided through Senior Connections, Capital Area Agency on Aging


Creating an Intention Community for Low-Income Older Adults

This workshop presents how innovative Resident Service is strategically implemented within low-income affordable housing communities greatly improves the lives of older adults. Some of the greatest challenge facing older adults is physical disability and cognitive decline. This includes presenting on ageism and a lost sense of purpose, financial insecurity, difficulty with everyday tasks and mobility, finding the right care provider, access to healthcare services, end of life preparations struggles within affordable housing communities. " Fortunately, I am highly experienced in developing healthy ("successful") aging services within low-income housing communities throughout the state of Virginia.


1.) The conference participants will learn how resident service coordinators facilitated programming as an effective means for reducing health disparities.

2.) The conference participants will gain knowledge on how to establish partnerships with community stakeholders including medical institutions, colleges, and non-profit organizations to enhance the quality of life and improve the independence of older adults.

3.) Participants will increase their understanding of award-winning approaches for reducing social isolation, reducing the digital divide, reducing avoidable emergency room visits, and empowering older adults to age in place with dignity. 

  • Gregory Ford, Beacon Communities LLC


Closing the Gap - No Wrong Door

No Wrong Door is a federal initiative under the Administration for Community Living, which is locally lead across the Commonwealth via partnerships with Centers for Independent Living, as well as other critical Home and Community Based Services providers. The mission of No Wrong Door is to streamline access to home and community based services through effective partnerships, holistic supports with person-centered practices, and essential resources that address quality of life through the social determinants of health.


This session will focus on

A) providing real-world stories and experiences of individuals within communities seeking supports with nutrition and/or social health,

B) include interactive discussions with partners that locally lead efforts across the Commonwealth, and

C) provide a forum for learning about new, innovative tools and technologies available to Virginians. 

  • Sara Link, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

  • Hollie Lutz, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

  • Sarah Henry, Prince William Area Agency on Aging

  • Ray Parks, Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services


Leveraging Data to Identify Needs and Drive Innovation

It’s all about the data! There are several promising aging-related data initiatives underway in Virginia. This presentation will bring together staff with the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, UVA Weldon Cooper Center Demographics Research Group, and Virginia Center on Aging to share how they are strategically aligning quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis activities to better identify unmet needs across the Commonwealth, make data available and accessible to the aging network, and leverage data to drive service delivery, policy development, and innovation.


Attendees will learn about:

1) The process and findings from the 2022 Statewide Needs Assessment for Older Virginians,

2) How to access and use the Aging Demographics Dashboard developed by Weldon Cooper Center,

3) How to access and use Data Briefs developed by Weldon Cooper Center and the Virginia Center on Aging, and

4) Other potential state and national aging and health data repositories and resources that can paint a robust picture of older adults in their communities and the Commonwealth. Attendees will be encouraged to brainstorm ways they can utilize the data in their own work and in support of engagement with policymakers and funders. 

  • Charlotte Arbogast, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

  • Qian Cai, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service

  • Tracey Gendron, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology/Virginia Center on Aging


From Plan to Reality: Improving Dementia Supports in Virginia

The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Commission drives dementia policy in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is in the process of updating the Dementia State Plan to take into account the latest developments in research, including potential treatments, brain health and dementia risk reduction, and early detection and diagnosis.  However, local efforts and initiatives to support people living with dementia and their care partners, such as Dementia Friendly initiatives, are essential for turning the Plan’s recommendations into reality for Virginians living with dementia and their caregivers.  The presenters, the Vice-Chair of the Commission and leader of the Richmond Brain Health Initiative, and the Dementia Services Coordinator at the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, will share examples of local efforts and provide guidance on funding opportunities such as the Administration for Community Living’s Alzheimer’s Disease Program Initiative that your local organizations could use to turn great ideas into resources and services for your community.  Participants will learn about Virginia’s Dementia State Plan and the infrastructure that supports it, about community and other initiatives that are working to make the Plan a reality, and about funding opportunities that can turn their ideas for local initiatives into reality. 

  • George Worthington, Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services 

  • Lana Sargent, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing 


Volunteer Rides: Engaging Bilingual and Veteran Drivers to Serve Unique Populations of Seniors

 This session will cover the fundamentals of volunteer driving programs including scope, program details, essentials of starting a program and rider/driver training on a basic level. We will then discuss the two unique sub programs we operate under our umbrella- bilingual drivers and veterans. We will discuss how linking veteran riders to active duty service members looking for service hours has been greatly impactful to both riders and drivers. We will also cover how bilingual drivers promote equity and access to underserved populations in our region. 

  • Emily Braley, Pozez JCC

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