Mayor Vincent Gray said a Foggy Bottom network aiming to help seniors age in their homes was attuned to the District’s goals of making the city more accessible to elderly citizens.
Gray, who spoke Tuesday at the grand opening of the Foggy Bottom West End Village, said the program matched the city’s collaboration with AARP and the World Health Organization to better address elderly needs. The Age-Friendly DC Initiative, which launched last year, is part of an international effort to support aging populations living in cities.
The local village – a volunteer-based program that offers services like transportation to doctor’s appointments, meal deliveries and technological assistance – began this week after two years of planning. The network is meant to help elderly people stay in their homes rather than move to assisted living facilities.
“A big part of being an age-friendly city is ensuring that people don’t have to move out of their own houses,” Gray said. “I think it’s one of the most forward-thinking concepts that we’ve had come along for a very long time, and we are completely supportive of it.”
The program also organizes events like cocktail parties, barbecues and outings in the city. Lucia Pollock said she joined the village to make connections in the local community.
“I don’t need the services at this point, but I still enjoy the social aspect” she said.
Foggy Bottom resident Michael Lesparre said he signed up to take advantage of the network’s volunteer opportunities.
“While I may want to volunteer now, I’m aware that I might be needing their services later” he said.
GW, as part of a benefits package it offered to Foggy Bottom to build a new office complex, is giving $100,000 to the village so it can rent office space. About 30 students at GW have reached out to volunteer.