March 25, 2022

Spotlight on Seniors

Highlighting services and opportunities for Virginia Beach’s older residents.

Seniors on bikes

Many households are made up of multi-generational family members, and more than ​​25% of Virginia Beach’s population is 55 and older A thriving community includes resources to help residents of any age live their best lives by staying active, engaged and social. ​

Staying sharp in mind and body

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Department of Parks and Recreation offers Forever Young Senior Programs at its seven recreation centers that provide a gathering place for people 55 and older to socialize and participate in special events, lunches, games, arts and crafts, exercise, as well as local shopping trips and excursions.​

Other activities include picnics in the park, holiday celebrations, dances and pla​​​​ys. (NOTE: Schedule and activities dependent on COVID-19 public safety requirements or recommendations.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Participation is included with your recreation center membership or Silver Sneakers Membership Card. If you’re curious but not ready to commit, you can check out available programs with a free day pass. Ask a front desk team member at your preferred center for more information.

​Lunch is available for older adults at Bayside and Williams Farm recreation centers through Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia. To participate, you’ll need to provide your social security number and complete an intake form.

You’re entitled to one lunch a day, which must be ordered in advance (on a weekly basis) and eaten at the center. You can place your lunch order in person or by phone and a donation is requested to pay for the meal. Also, if you can’t make it to lunch, please be sure to call and cancel.

Volunteering is another excellent way to stay social and active. Whether you’re interested in helping keep the community clean by adopting a highway, park or trail; sharing your knowledge at one of the city’s history museums; or tutoring a first grader, there are many opportunities offered through the Office of Volunteer Resources.

Housing help for seniors

Many seniors live on a limited income that can make it challenging to afford to stay in their homes. Virginia Beach City Council adopted a program to assist qualifying seniors and disabled persons with both real estate and personal property taxes.

The program is managed by the Commissioner of the Revenue. To qualify you or your family member must live in Virginia Beach and meet income and net worth limitations.

​For senior applicants, the basic requirements include being at least 65. There is no age limit for applicants with disabilities, but they must be both totally and permanently disabled. (A $10,000 income exclusion is allowed.)

Annual household income must not exceed $61,010 for a tax exemption, and not exceed $79,605​​ for a tax freeze. Assets, other than the applicant’s residence, must not exceed $350,000.

Applications for real estate tax exemption are taken by appointment only from Feb. 1 through June 30 in the Commissioner of Revenue's Office, Municipal Center, Building 1. Call the Real Estate Qualification Division at (757) 385-4385 for details.

Services to protect and support seniors

​​​​​Adult & Aging Services provides a variety of community-based services to seniors and others, in addition to assistance to individuals requiring facility placements.

​Adult Protective Services strives to identify and investigate reports of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of individuals who are 60 years or older, or incapacitated adults who are 18 or older. Services offered include case management to alleviate the risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation, and where appropriate and available, arrangement for home-based care, transportation, adult day and meal services, legal proceedings and more.

The Social Services Division investigates all reports and determines whether protective services are required and arranges for them as needed.

The Adult Protective Services Unit is located at 256/258 N. Witchduck Road. To report a suspected case of adult abuse, neglect or exploitation, call the local hotline at (757) 385-3550, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A report can be made at any time by calling the Virginia state hotline at (888) 832-3858 (83ADULT).

senior hands stock

The Adult Foster Care Program is designed for individuals who require supportive services for a variety of needs that range from geriatric and mental health care to young adults with lifelong disabilities who were former foster care children. The program allows them to continue to live in the community in a comfortable home environment with extra support from caring providers.

The Social Services Division of the Department of Human Services is looking for people who can welcome up to three adults into their home, supervise their needs, and provide meals and recreational activities. Social Services representatives are available to provide support to all adult foster care providers as well as the adults placed in each home.

If you’re interested in becoming an adult foster care provider, call (757) 385-3550.

There are two specific programs designed to meet the needs of low-income or disabled residents of Virginia Beach who need either in-home care or placement in a facility.

Companion Services supports adults who are unable to care for themselves due to physical or mental limitations. Supplemental Security Income recipients and certain other low-income persons may receive in-home care and light housekeeping services, which are provided by a licensed agency, under a contractual arrangement with the Virginia Department of Social Services. Recipients must live in Virginia Beach.

Facility Placement and Person​​al Care is a program that helps assess and determine the appropriate level of care someone may need, from day programs and personal care to nursing home placement. The screening team is made up of staff from Adult & Family Services and the Department of Public Health.

Civic engagement

​​No matter how old you are, it’s important to have a voice in how the city is meeting its obligations to its residents. The Mayor's Commission on Aging assists the mayor in planning actions and programs to meet the needs and concerns of seniors in Virginia Beach.

The goals of the commission are to review the nature and priority of senior services and work with agencies, committees and commissions throughout the region that address these same issues. Commission members help communicate the senior community’s needs to the mayor as well as communicate to the public legislative and education efforts already underway.

Members of the commission must be Virginia Beach residents. The mayor appoints them to serve for a three-year term without compensation. Membership application forms are available online and in the Mayor's Office. Call (757) 385-4581 for more information.

Commission meetings are open to the public and are held from 2 to 4 p.m. the last Wednesday of every month on the second floor of Building #1, room 234, at the Municipal Center, 2401 Courthouse Drive. To attend virtually via Zoom, email

The Senior Citizens’ Police Academy provides an opportunity for seniors to become familiar with the day‐to‐day operations of the Virginia Beach Police Department.

Classes are limited to 40 people and applicants must be 55 or older. Topics covered include history of law enforcement, basic criminal law, crime prevention, senior safety and more.

Call the Community Liaison Unit (757) 385‐2742 for information.

Regional services

Seniors Services of Southeastern Virginia is a Hampton Roads-based nonprofit that offers support to seniors and their caregivers through meals, community activities, in-home support, medical and senior center transportation, Medicare benefits counseling and much more.

The Ombudsman Program can be reached at (800) 766-8059.

The Mayor's Commission on Aging has also produced a helpful Senior Housing & Resource Guide. You can request a hard copy by calling (757) 385-4581.

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Commissioner of the Revenue

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Virginia Beach Department of Human Services

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Human Services - Social Services Division

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Parks & Recreation

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