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MAKING A MARK: Local nonprofit helps to improve the quality of life of seniors

Members of the Chesapeake Task Force on Aging share resources, promote advocacy, education, and training and serve as legislative activists for seniors.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Staying busy has never been a problem for 83-year-old Carol Lee Carr.

I do artwork, which I love. I've been doing that for almost twenty years," Carr says. "And, I play the piano and I've always loved theater." 

Carr also works part-time for a furniture store. "I love the work I do because I meet so many new people every day ... I'm never bored. I really think that's what keeps me going."

But not all seniors have the same quality of life as Carr. That's where groups like the Chesapeake Task Force on Aging Step in. Julie Ulrich is the chair. "We're a group of like-minded professionals and also local citizens that get together, and we all have the same purpose, which is we have a passion for serving seniors in our community," Ulrich says. 

"Each of the different cities in Hampton Roads has a task force, and then we also get together jointly."

Members provide resources and information, address legitimization, and help educate the community of the needs and contributions of seniors. "We're putting together a regional message... focusing on the issues that seniors face, which is affordable housing, transportation, nutrition and hunger," says Ulrich. 

"And then also, the value of seniors... They bring a lot to our economy, their experience, their volunteerism... What we need to do is to show them and to get them outside of those four walls and to get them out and active in the community."

The nonprofit is working to enrich the lives of seniors today so others, Like Carr, can have a more fulfilling tomorrow. 

"I think that the secret to old age is finding something that you enjoy," says Carr. "I love doing new things... It really keeps me going. I find that it makes me feel better when I do that."

For more information about the Chesapeake Task Force on Aging, visit www.ctfoa.org, call 757-204-5693, or check out their Facebook page.

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