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Helping seniors through change and loss

Change happens to us all. So does loss. But for seniors, it starts happening more frequently, becoming an often unwelcome part of everyday life.

Whether it be the change in appearance as a result of aging, the loss of mobility or the death of a friend, life gets shaken up when things don’t remain the same. Sometimes that’s okay. But sometimes, when loss is involved, it causes grief. Especially if you care for a senior, here’s what you need to know.

Grief happens in stages

Most people have heard that grief comes in stages. What’s lesser known though, is these stages don’t have to come in any specific order and can be revisited multiple times.
The stages of grief can include shock, anger, denial, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.

Shock – Shock occurs initially when the loss happens, whether it is expected or not. It’s hard to deal with, but probably the best thing you can do is just be there for the senior in your care and acknowledge the reality of what has happened.

Anger – Anger can have many roots and various expressions. For example, a lack of preparation for a loss often fuels anger. If you’re caring for a senior who is angry about loss, validate that it is okay to be angry.

Denial – Denial occurs when a person does not want to recognize the truth. In this case, the senior in your care might not want to acknowledge loss. As a caregiver, it’s not your job to bring anyone down with harsh reminders. Gently referring to the loss, you can help by pointing out happy memories that remain.

Bargaining – Bargaining is an often misunderstood stage of grief. The senior in your care might try to offer something to change the reality of the loss, in hopes that the circumstance will remain the same. For example, they might say, “If my friend makes it out of surgery, I’ll never utter a bad word about her again.” You can help just by listening.

Depression – Depression is common for seniors, as it is for anyone faced with grief. This emotional stage is characterized by feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. While depression is normal to some extent, lingering depression is unhealthy. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to find things they like to do.

Testing – Testing is a mechanism people use when they are coming to terms with loss. Seniors in the testing stage cautiously consider the reality that staying in a deep, dark hole forever is not an option. When testing is successful, they start coming up with alternatives that will help them feel better. You can help the senior in your care by encouraging them to talk and explore their feelings and perceptions.

Acceptance – Acceptance happens when the loss is incorporated into the sum of the person’s experience. In this stage, the senior in your care might recognize the loss as just another part of life. Once this happens, they can move on.

Navigating through these stages can be tricky.  At times seniors may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of losses they have to process. It is important to provide supportive, nurturing outlets for seniors, so they can get through this natural part of life.  A listening ear and a helping hand go a long way to getting your senior through this trying time.

This post is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care serving Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Summer storm leads to crashes, downed wires

OCCOQUAN — Tanyard Hill Road maybe a shortcut into Occoquan, but the steep hill is no picnic after a summer rain.

The driver of a Lexus SUV found that out about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when he lost control of his vehicle and spun out into an embankment. The driver appears to have been traveling up the hill, leaving the small town.

A summer storm that rolled in about an hour earlier had just passed. 

Police were called to the scene. And so was the driver of a Ford F-250 pickup.

The pickup driver attached a chain to his tow hitch and the other side of the chain to the SUV. He got in the truck and stepped on the gas.

His tires spun once, but he was able to pull the SUV from the embankment.

“I put it in four-wheel drive,” the driver told a police officer on the scene.

No one was injured. The driver of the SUV drove his car back down the hill into Occoquan.

Police and rescue crews spent much of the afternoon cleaning up the damage left behind by the storm, to include downed wires on Horner Road in Woodbridge.

Tagless Mercedes leads police on pursuit through North Stafford

From the Stafford sheriff’s office: 

A suspect was arrested on numerous charges after attempting to elude a Stafford Deputy on Saturday, July 14, 2018 around noon.  Deputy B. U. Demirci was on routine patrol in the area of Route 1 and Coal Landing Road when he observed a white Mercedes sedan with no front tag displayed.  The deputy positioned himself where he could then observe the rear tag and had dispatch run it through DMV.  The tag returned as not being on file. Deputy Demirci activated his emergency equipment to initiate a traffic stop.  The driver immediately accelerated the Mercedes and began attempting to elude the deputy. 

The chase continued north on Route 1 through the Garrisonville Road intersection with the suspect passing other vehicles on the shoulder and weaving in and out of traffic.  Once north of the I95 interchange, the suspect vehicle made a u-turn and began traveling south.  While attempting to enter the I95 northbound ramp, the driver lost control and crashed into numerous trees.  He was quickly apprehended by Deputy Demirci and his K-9 partner, Steel.

Casildo Agosto, age twenty six of Dumfries, was not injured in the crash.  He advised the deputy that he ran because he did not have a license and there was marijuana in the car.  He was charged with Eluding Police, Driving with no License, Driving an Unregistered Vehicle, Reckless Driving and Possession of Marijuana.

Third suspect in Stafford shooting nabbed in Dumfries

DUMFRIES — A suspect in a shooting in Stafford County was arrested in Dumfries.

Stafford authorities said they apprehended the suspect about noon Sunday while he was walking on Fuller Heights Road. The arrest came in an operation of the Northern Virginia U.S. Marshal Task Force.

The suspect is accused of aggravated malicious wounding in a shooting of a man on July 5 on Minuteman Circle in Stafford County. On that day, sheriff’s deputies were called to the area for reports of shots fired.

When they arrived they found evidence of a shooting. They later found the victim shot in the leg at a local hospital.

Hayden James Patrick, 20, is charged with aggravated malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and conspiracy to shoot to main or kill.

Two other suspects — Fa-eez Gomda, 18, and Isaiah Keyes, 19, of Fredericksburg. Both were arrested by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office.

From authorities:

Two of the three suspects involved in the shooting incident that occurred on Thursday night in the area of Minuteman Circle in Stafford County have been arrested. Fa-eez Gomda, 18, of Stafford was arrested on July 6, 2018 by the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office. Isaiah Keyes, 19, of Fredericksburg was arrested on July 8, 2018 by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

Helping first-time homebuyers navigate a tight market: 3 key steps from The Fauquier Bank

When it comes to purchasing a home, Mary Ann Andrews of The Fauquier Bank recommends buyers come in for a personal consultation, especially those who’ve never previously been through the complex process.

Buying a home can be daunting, between learning the lingo and understanding the financing. And given the current market conditions and limited housing inventory — which has sparked multiple offers and price bidding — it’s essential to know what you’re doing.

That’s where Andrews comes in.

“There’s so much you need to know,” says Andrews, NMLS # 482462, a TFB vice president and mortgage originator. “I like to sit down and explain how the process works.”

With first-time buyers, she adds, “I go over everything, just to get them comfortable with the language and the process.”

For tech-savvy potential buyers, it may seem tempting to do things online. But Andrews says there’s no substitute for meeting face-to-face.

“You can understand their needs,” she explains. “You can give them so much more information and discuss so many more options.”

Andrews can meet potential buyers at any of TFB’s 11 branches in Fauquier and Prince William counties.

For first-time buyers, Andrews follows a specific process. First things first: do your homework.

“Do your research and check out the area where you’re looking,” she advises. “You need to get with a realtor. And you need to find out what the taxes are and find out what the HOA fees are.” 

First-time buyers should follow these three key steps:

1. Prepare Financially: Begin by checking your credit score, saving for a down payment and figuring out how much you can afford to spend. Then meet with a mortgage originator to get pre-approved.

2. Understand Mortgages: Evaluate the different types of mortgage loans that are available and which works best for your situation.

3. Start Shopping: Look for a house that fits your needs and budget, then put in an offer. Gather the necessary documents for the loan processing and closing process.

NMLS #462668

Join us for a First-Time Homebuyer Seminar at 6 p.m. on Aug. 1 at BadWolf Brewing Company, 9776 Center St. in Manassas. Our mortgage originators will be available to answer questions. RSVP at 540-349-0202.

River Crossing project starts late summer, will double I-95 capacity in Fredericksburg

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