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Brandywine Valley Active Aging

Thursday, April 14, 2022
Location: Coatesville, Chester County

Org Focus: Wellness for adults 60+

Grant Funding: Education  for COVID-19 vaccine


Click here to download a PDF of this profile.

Based on an interview with Dania Langley, Director of Development

Due to the pandemic, aging populations needed community now more than ever. When in-person activities went away we were able to stay open because of our mindset change. Birthday bashes moved to outdoor celebrations with lawn chairs, entertainment, and fresh air. Exercise classes, concerts and the center favorite, bingo, were held virtually. Indoor dining shifted to a drive through that over 150 people attended daily. These things kept us going and brought people together in a time of isolation.

This great sense of community built trust between Brandywine Valley Active Aging and the senior population. When the vaccine came out, we knew it was our responsibility to spread health awareness. Given the relationship we had established, we had the opportunity to inspire trust and encourage seniors to make health decisions based on science. They trust us, so they trust our recommendations. Access to technology was difficult, and we were surprised by how much distrust there was in the government and health authorities. Most people relied on their families and the news to get updates on the health crisis. This led to a large amount of misinformation and fear.

We adopted the tagline “Educate, encourage, engage, vaccinate” to guide our work. From billboards to calling systems to direct conversations in our drive through, education was our biggest impact. Once people agreed to be vaccinated, we worked with them directly to set up appointments and ensure they were able to receive both doses at a pharmacy near them.

The elderly population needed more than education. They sought community, trust and understanding. By building a community of people, we were able to keep people safe while keeping them active and engaged at the same time.

Moving forward, we are glad to continue building a center for aging people that is more than bingo. We are a community of people who love to laugh, exercise, share a meal and celebrate life even amidst a continuing health crisis.

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