Community Resources E-Newsletter
Social Security Announces 3.2 Percent Benefit Increase for 2024
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million Americans will receive a 3.2 percent cost-of-living increase in 2024. This means that, on average, Social Security retirement benefits will increase by more than $50 per month starting in January. (Note: Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits.) Other adjustments that take effect each January are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earning subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $168,600 from $160,200.
Social Security will begin mailing recipients about their new benefit amount in early December. Individuals who have a personal my Social Security account can view their COLA notice online where they can set up text or email alerts when there are new messages-- such as their COLA notice—waiting. Get a my Social Security account by Nov.14 to see the COLA notice online. To get started, visit www.ssa.gov/myaccount. The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. To learn more, visit www.ssa.gov/cola.
Information about Medicare changes for 2024 are available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare, their new 2024 benefit amount mailed in December in their COLA notice or in their my Social Security's Message Center.
Virginia Center on Aging’s Annual Update
The Virginia Center on Aging will have its virtual Annual Update on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, 9-10 a.m. This will be an opportunity to learn about VCoA’s growth over the past year and to offer opportunities to engage in their mission of making Virginia a place where people can thrive at every age. To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUsd-mrqD4pHdF9FXM82nrRCvQ2_Dl59e7y#/registration
Access Data and Information from the Virginia Center on Aging
The Virginia Center on Aging and the VCU Department of Gerontology, known as GeroAging, is committed to their mission of advancing health, well-being and equity for the elders of today and tomorrow. We firmly believe that achieving this mission necessitates inclusive collaboration with partners, communities and elders across the Commonwealth.
Dr. Tracey Gendron, Ph.D. Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Gerontology, Executive Director, has announced an initiative aimed at disseminating essential data and knowledge to make it more accessible. The first step was launching a series of issue briefs and research briefs that are available on the website: https://vcoa.chp.vcu.edu/resources/briefs-and-reports/. These briefs present evidence-based insights into critical topics identified by the community. such as social security, ageism and elder abuse mistreatment.
Hanover County Food Pantry Calendar
Hanover County has a network of more than 18 non-profit food pantries that provide food to individuals and families in need across the county! Members from the local food pantries meet monthly to address ways to combat food insecurity in Hanover County through collaboration while creating a pathway to enhance food independence for people they serve. To learn more about food pantries and how to access services, view the Hanover Food Pantry Service Day Calendar and Information Sheet on the Community Resources webpage. For more information about the Hanover Food Network, contact the Department of Community Resources at 804-365-4300 or [email protected].
Hanover DASH Program Reduces Rates and Expands Hours
In October Hanover County reduced the copay cost to riders enrolled in the Hanover DASH transportation program from $6 to $5 per ride, and expanded the hours to seven days a week, Monday-Sunday, from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Hanover DASH provides personalized transportation to medical appointments, grocery stores, errands, employment, and formal social programs for those aged 65 and up and persons with a disability. Destinations can be anywhere in Hanover County or within seven miles of the county boundary. Rides also are given to medical facilities beyond the 7-mile buffer, such as the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center and the medical offices at Stony Point. Rides are provided by UZURV, an adaptive transportation network company. For more information, call 804-365- 3274 or visit www.HanoverDASH.org.
MEETINGS, EVENTS AND TRAININGS
Hanover Safe Place – Deck the Halls Event, Dec. 3
On Sunday, Dec.3, the annual holiday decoration-making fundraiser, Deck the Halls, will take place at Pine Grove Farm in Ashland. The event benefits Hanover Safe Place. For a small entry donation, participants will receive three tickets for hardware (wreath forms, centerpiece bowls, vases, etc.) and three tickets for bows. Experts will help them create wreaths, swags, boxwood circles, table toppers, candle surrounds and more. Fresh-cut greenery includes pine, cedar, hemlock, fraser fir, holly and more. To secure your spot, visit https://deckthehallsva.org/entryfee.
Free Virtual Program Teaches Caregivers the Best Approaches for Dementia Care
On Thursday, Dec. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 14,12:30-1:30 p.m., the Virginia Geriatric Education Center will offer an interactive conversation between family caregivers and a team of healthcare professionals. After a brief presentation, the rest of the session will be a time to ask questions, discuss issues, and share stories and ideas. To register: https://forms.gle/M9uriTV6TzKTH4fi8
Learn How to Downsize and Declutter
This virtual session is on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and presented by Aging Together in partnership with AARP Virginia. To register: Downsizing & Decluttering: You Can't Take it With You.
NAMICVA Connection Monthly Meeting
The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Virginia holds monthly meetings at Cool Spring Baptist Church, 9283 Atlee Station Drive Mechanicsville. The Connection and Family meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Monday, 6:30-8 p.m. They also have mental health days at church to focus on giving information about mental health wellness and awareness for all ages.
SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY
Looking to get involved? Here are some ways you can give back to your community, support local organizations and get community service hours!
November and December Service Opportunities
The Giving Heart Community Thanksgiving Feast
Hanover Adult Center
Volunteer to sing, play musical instruments, storytelling, lead an activity, craft or game; assist with special office or "handyman" projects. Contact 804-746-0743. For more information, go to
Hanover Community Service Board (CSB)
Volunteer as an individual or group to coordinate gifts for individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities who may not receive gifts this holiday season. Call Tommy Seay at 804-365-6578. For more information, go to www.hanovercounty.gov/358/Community-Services-Board.
Ongoing Service Opportunities
The Arc of Hanover Thrift Store is an organization that advocates for the rights and full participation of children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Volunteers are needed to work in the store cashiering, cleaning, pricing items, replenishing shelves and receiving donations. Store hours: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Volunteers may work split shifts or full days. For more information, call 804-798-2400 or email [email protected].
CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation helps families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers are needed to make meals for these families on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of each month. For more information, visit CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation - Home (cjstuf.org) and CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation: CJ's Sandwich Making Crew (signupgenius.com).
Hanover Christian Firewood Ministry provides wood to more than 35 families who rely on firewood as their primary source of heat. Firewood is split and delivered every Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon or 9 a.m.-1 p.m., depending on the time of year. For more information, call 804-559-8824.
Hanover and King William Habitat for Humanity Faith Build is a partnership with local faith-based organizations and businesses that help fund and build and homes for local families. For more information, visit Faith Build - Hanover & King William Habitat for Humanity (hkwhabitat.org) or email Amanda Gunter at [email protected].
Hanover Senior Rides needs ride coordinators and volunteer drivers to provide free rides to those who can no longer drive, including seniors and those with disabilities. Volunteers use their own vehicles drive to medical appointments, grocery shopping and for personal business. They are paid 50 cents per mile for gas reimbursement. This program is operated in Mechanicsville by the Mechanicsville Churches Emergency Functions and in Ashland by the Ashland Christian Emergency Services. For more information, call MCEF at 804-357-9360 or ACES at 804-543-6115, or visit https://4mcef.com and https://aceshanover.org/services.
YMCA Feedmore Food Pantry needs volunteers to help with food distribution on the first Tuesday of each month, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Ashland Junction Shopping Center (123 Junction Drive, Ashland, VA 23005). For more information, email [email protected].
Databases for Finding Upcoming Service Events in Your Community
Other Ways To Get Involved
Inquire about volunteer opportunities at your local nursing home! Reach out to your local food pantry and ask if they need any specific food items or volunteers.
If you are part of a local organization and want to share your service events in an upcoming Community Resources E-Newsletter, email [email protected].
COMMUNITY PROGRAMS, RESOURCES AND SERVICES
Our team at Hanover Community Resources is here to assist you or your clients in finding available resources. We are located in the Human Services Complex on Route 1 at 12310 Washington Highway, Ashland VA 23005, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 804-365-4300 or email [email protected].
EnergyShare - Heating
EnergyShare is a program of last resort that helps pay energy bills for any type of heating (wood, oil, natural gas, propane, kerosene, electric) or cooling for those who qualify. EnergyShare is not income based, so any customer in crisis is eligible to apply. Applications are accepted year-round and distributed as long as funding is available. Customer applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility. If approved, the benefit is paid directly to the customer’s energy provider. Individuals 60 and older receive assistance twice up to a $600 maximum benefit. If the full maximum benefit is used during for initial request, clients are unable to apply again until the next season. Military veterans and those with disabilities may qualify for up to $500 maximum benefit each year. For more information, visit EnergyShare | Virginia | Dominion Energy.
Hanover and King William Habitat for Humanity’s Critical Repair Program
Habitat envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live – that includes a home that is accessible, dry, safe and energy efficient. Habitat’s Critical Repair program offers reduced-cost repairs to address safety issues and code violations. To learn more, visit https://hkwhabitat.org/critical-repairs or call 804-569-6108, x105.
Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program
Customers of the Hanover County Department of Public Utilities may apply for assistance from Virginia’s Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), a temporary federal-funded program created to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. To be eligible, a household must have a past due water or wastewater balance and a household income below the LIHWAP guidelines based on household size. Priority is given to households whose water or wastewater has been disconnected or is at a risk of disconnection. For more information or to apply online, go to https://virginialihwap.com/lihwap or call Promise at 1-888-373-9908.
Project: HOMES Home Repair Services
Project: HOMES helps address home health and safety concerns for families who are unable to address them on their own. They provide modifications that not only alter the health and safety outcomes for the families but also increase the affordability of remaining in their homes. For more information, visit https://www.projecthomes.org/health-and-safety.
Thrive Virginia Crisis Assistance
Thrive Virginia seeks to empower individuals and families to become self-sufficient, live with dignity and achieve optimum health. They offer utility assistance (with limited available funding) to individuals and families who are eligible for emergency financial assistance if they have met the income guidelines for the past 30 days. The guidelines are located at https://www.thriveva.org/emergency-financial-assistance. For more information, call 804-966-8770 or email [email protected].
Weatherization Assistance Program
The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development administers the Weatherization Assistance Program, WAP, that reduces household energy use through the installation of cost-effective energy savings measures. These measures also improve resident health and safety and typically include sealing air leaks, adding insulation and repairing heating and cooling systems. DHCD works with a network of nonprofit organizations around the state, who directly implement the program. More information is available at https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/wx.
Parent and Youth Resources
Free In-Home Parenting Education
Do you know a parent or parents who could use additional parenting education and support? This service is available to pregnant women or mothers with children up to five years old who live in Hanover County and is provided in the family’s own home at no cost. It is designed to offer education related to healthy pregnancies, positive parenting skills, child development activities and knowledge about child developmental stages. The program also assists families to connect with various community resources to help address the needs of parents and children during the stages of early childhood. The program is a partnership between Hanover County and Family Lifeline. For more information or to make a referral, contact Family Lifeline at 804-249-5414 or [email protected].
The WIC program is for pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and for women with infants and children up to age five. The program provides nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, as well as access to nutritious foods and formula. To be eligible for the WIC program, applicants must meet residential, income and nutrition requirements. Mothers and children with active Medicaid or SNAP are automatically eligible. To apply or schedule an appointment, call 804-365-4335.
Senior and Caregiver Resources
Advance Planning Guides for Dementia
The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services has new guides for advance planning for dementia. Advance planning empowers people to make their own decisions about important topics like finances, health care, and living arrangements before the need arises. These guides help people living with dementia and their family members or other care partners know what to plan for and how to get started. The guides cover four topics: health care planning, financial planning, care planning, and supporting someone living with dementia in making decisions. Download the guides at Dementia Capable Virginia. Order hard copies by emailing the Dementia Services Coordinator at [email protected] or calling 804-662-9154.
Senior Connections: Caregiver Directed Respite Support
Senior Connections now offers a Caregiver Directed Respite Support program to provide caregivers opportunities to focus on their own well-being. The program includes consultation for emotional support and education, assistance in developing a Long-Term Care plan, a financial stipend designated to get the plan in action and resources for supplemental services. To see if you qualify for the Caregiver Directed Respite Support grant, call 804-672-4498 or email [email protected].
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently released the “Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Adults,” as part of their preparedness campaign that focused on empowering older adults as they prepare for disasters. This guide is intended to support older adults and their caregivers in preparing in three straightforward steps: assessing their needs, creating a plan, and engaging their network. The guide also provides easy-to-read, user-friendly worksheets that walk individuals and caregivers through self-assessment to identify specific needs and checklists that create a personalized plan.
Click here to view the guide.
Hanover Health Department: Vital Records
The Hanover Health Department Provides certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates (if the event occurred in Virginia) Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. These are available to immediate family members only (mothers, fathers, spouses, children, siblings and grandparents with valid ID). Birth records also can be issued to the legal guardian with proof of custody papers. For more information on fees, locations and more, visit: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/chickahominy/vital-records-birth-marriage-divorce-and-death-certificates/.
YMCA Social Needs Navigator
The YMCA’s Social Needs Navigator shares information about free and reduced-price resources in Hanover, such as food, clothes, childcare, housing and healthcare. For more information, visit https://help1rva.org or call 804-798-0057.