Harrisonburg, Va. –Valley Program for Aging Services (VPAS) has received a $52,844 grant from the Merck Foundation to boost health opportunities for East Rockingham County residents 60 years and over and their caregivers.

Titled “Aging Well for Life,” the program funded by the Merck Foundation is multifaceted and designed to reach populations of older adults in Elkton, McGaheysville, Port Republic and Grottoes who have not traditionally had access to VPAS services in their local community. It began with a late summer health resource fair in Elkton and continues with chronic disease self-management education, fall prevention workshops, an aging with confidence education series, Tai Chi training, and more.

The aging with confidence series will address such topics as conflict resolution, grief and loss, caregiving, and financial planning.

As the incidence of dementia and the need for caregiver support grows throughout Virginia, VPAS will also launch caregiver support groups and dementia training for community members and service providers in Eastern Rockingham County.

Additionally, grant funding will bolster the quality and number of programs at VPAS’ East Rockingham Senior Center, enhancing experiences for older adult members in the social hub of the Eastern portion of the County and reducing the social isolation that is a growing problem within this age group.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to provide older neighbors with more comprehensive services in areas we haven’t had the capacity to reach before,” said Beth Bland, Director of Senior Services for Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. “The health, educational and social programming we are offering has a proven track record of improving the lives of older adults. We are excited to partner with the Merck Foundation to make that possible.”

Classes, workshops and other events are forming now. Visit vpas.info/events or call 540-615-5341 to learn more.

VPAS empowers adults 60 years and over with the resources and opportunities they need to lead engaged lives. With information and referral services, Medicare counseling, senior transportation, health and recreational programming, meal delivery, and in-home case management available throughout five counties in the Shenandoah

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