The Prince William Area Commission on Aging is celebrating 40 years of service to the county.
According to a Prince William County government release, the commission is an advisory group, made up of citizens that advise the Prince William Area Agency on Aging, the Prince William Board of Supervisors, and the City Councils of Manassas and Manassas Park, on issues related to the elderly.
“The commission, through the years, has been actively involved in advising and advocating for the needs or concerns of our older citizens,” stated Commission Chairman Raymond Beverage in a release.
The commission advocates for several things for the elderly population, including affordable housing, transportation, disabilities services, recreation access, and legal assistance.
“We need to take care of the older people because they’ve taken care of the county for a long time,” stated the commissions’ Woodbridge district representative Sandra Dawson, in a release.
The establishment of the commission was part of an evolution in local, state, and federal government, to focus more on addressing the needs of the elderly.
More on the evolution of the commission and Agency on Aging, from a release:
Establishing the commission and the Area Agency on Aging came after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act into law in 1965. By 1973, Beverage said, area agencies on aging were established in Virginia to fulfill programs under the act.
By 1975, Prince William County was providing tax relief measures for low-income elderly property owners, senior nutrition programs and information tracking programs to support older citizens’ needs. In 1976, the Prince William Area Commission on Aging was created, and the following year, the tri-jurisdictional Area Agency on Aging was established.
Over the years, the commission has seen their mission grow, as more people from the ‘Baby Boomers’ generation begin to retire.
“You’ve got Baby Boomers coming down the pike, and they’re all going to need advice and representation. The Commission on Aging is trying to do that for these people,” stated the commission’s Brentsville representative Willard Bennett, in a release.