Laura Newland, director, D.C. Department of Aging and Community Living

Happy New Year! While 2021 started inauspiciously with a terrorist attack on the Capitol building, we still managed to end the year with joy, celebration, and well wishes at the
Mayor’s 23rd Annual Senior Holiday Celebration! We had such a great time welcoming you, catching up with you, and dancing with you. It was the perfect way to end the year.

With all of 2022 in front of us, we have a lot to look forward to. One of the things I’m most excited about is our Future of Aging project. If you were at our Holiday Celebration last month, you may have participated in one of our activities where we asked you about how certain interactions with government and other organizations made you feel. The Future of Aging project is all about redesigning systems and programs around your insights, feelings, and experiences.

Together, we are creating a customer experience that we can all be proud of. If you’re interested in participating in some of these activities, please contact us at dacl.communications@dc.gov.

Before you know it, Valentine’s Day will be here, which means Cupid’s Kids from District public and charter schools will be making cards for our homebound seniors. It’s a small
gesture with a huge impact — especially these days when we could all use reminders that our community supports us.

As I mentioned last month, the holidays don’t mean the same thing for everyone. For a lot of folks, this season can be particularly lonely, so please take a minute and call a
friend or neighbor or send a note. Taking a few minutes of your time to say hi can make someone’s day — we all have the superpower of making someone feel great!

Finally, most of you reading this are probably vaccinated, but if you’re not, please get vaccinated as soon as possible!! And if you’re vaccinated but not boosted, get your booster! D.C. has a lot of places you can go to get a vaccination or booster, and if you need some help getting to a vaccination site, give us a call, and we’ll connect you with transportation options.

If you already have your booster, thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe! And remember to practice good hygiene, wear your mask, and practice social distancing (but don’t be socially distant!).

Thanks for helping make 2021 a great year for DACL, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us in 2022. As always, if you have ideas or thoughts, feel free to reach out. We’d love to hear from you!

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