Lunar New Year Celebration
Please join us to celebrate Lunar New Year. Based on popular demand, we will be returning to Mark’s Duck House, 6184 Arlington Blvd., Wednesday, February 21 from 5:00-7:30pm. The fixed priced menu has been specially curated for ANV. See details below on cost and RSVP instructions. We need your RSVP by February 16.
Open House at New ANV Offices
Our office has moved to new space at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 4000 Lorcom Lane. We are in the lower level Renehan Center with a suite of offices accessible on the ground floor – no more stairs — and we have a small meeting room that we can use for ANV events. We’d love for you to get to know our new space and see the office operations. You are invited to stop by during one of three Open Houses:
- Monday, February 12, 5:00-7:00 pm
- Thursday, February 15, 1:00-3:00 pm
- Tuesday, February 20, 12:00-2:00 pm
Check out this map to find the ANV entrance and on-site parking. No need to RSVP.
Happy Hearts Social, February 14
The VHC Senior Health Department is hosting the 2nd Annual Happy Hearts Social, an event for older adults in the community to celebrate Valentine’s Day with entertainment, refreshments and fellowship on Wednesday, February 14, from 1:00-3:00pm at Faith Lutheran Church, 3313 Arlington Blvd. Last year, participants enjoyed music, dancing and some delicious sweets. There is a $10 per person cost, but VHC Senior Associates can attend at no cost. RSVP to seniorhealth@VHCHealth.org or call 703-558-6859.
How to Forgive Yourself
Wednesday, March 6, 3-4:30 pm
Little Falls Village has an engaging topic on “How to Forgive Yourself” with Dr. Fred Luskin. Everyone makes mistakes, but learning from them and letting go self-resentment is beneficial for mental and physical health. Learn steps you can take to forgive yourself and grow from Dr. Fred Luskin, one of the world’s leading researchers and teachers on the subject of forgiveness. Dr. Luskin is the Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, a series of research projects that have validated his forgiveness methods. His national bestselling books include Forgive for Good and Forgive for Love. Dr. Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Health Psychology from Stanford University. His work has been featured in world-wide media, including the New York Times, O Magazine, and Time magazine. Registration required.
- Mary Jane Bridges
- Linda Hart
- Mary O’Keefe
- Shannon Addi
- Libby Bassini
- Matthew Burkholder
- Sarah Hall
- Madeleine Hesselgesser
- Amanda Hickman
- Gage Lepo
- Steven Liebman
- Kate Malliarakis
- Joshua Martin
- Amy Rogers
- Olivia Wilson
We fondly remember Judith Brodsky who passed away on December 31.
ANV Events are posted on our online calendar at www.ANVarlington.org/events so you can always easily find the Zoom link for any scheduled event.
Coffee and Conversation on Wednesdays at 10 am
- February 7: Capital Jewish Museum
- February 14: TBA
- February 21: Local History
- February 28: Current Aneurysm Treatments
- Tai Chi
- Bocce and Boules
- Happy Hour
- Board Games
- Men’s Lunch Bunch
- Ladies Lunch
- Pop Up Picnic
- Page Turners
Also of Interest
Coffee and Conversation: Wednesdays at 10 am
This ANV Speaker Series is held each Wednesday from 10:00 – 11:00am. Join our weekly conversations via Zoom:
You also have the option to dial in by phone to participate without video. For that, dial: 929-205-6099. The meeting ID is 889 4857 7106 and the passcode is 872327.
Wednesday, February 7: Join Curator Sarah Leavitt for an introduction to the Lillian and Albert Small Capital Jewish Museum (CJM). Learn about one of one of the newest museums in DC and explore the Jewish experience in the national capital region. Sarah will use images from CJM’s collections and building to talk about the origins of the museum and introduce themes in Washington Jewish history. She will take us on a virtual tour of the new exhibitions (the Museum just opened in June 2023) and be available for questions and discussion after the talk.
Wednesday, February 14: TBA
Wednesday, February 21: Local historian Paula Tarnapol Whitacre will talk about why local history matters, easy-to-access local history resources and how your family collections can benefit the historians of the future. Ms. Whitacre is the author of A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose, the biography of a Civil War-era abolitionist, and is currently writing a book about Alexandria during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Wednesday, February 28: Current Aneurysm Treatments. Dr. Benny Kim will provide an overview of cerebral aneurysms, including surgical and endovascular treatment. Attendees will have a better understanding of the risks and treatment options of cerebral aneurysms at the completion of the talk. Dr. Kim is a Neurointerventional Surgeon and Vascular Neurologist as well as a founding member of the VHC Health Physicians – Neurology department. Clinically, Dr. Kim is interested in managing the most complex or critically ill cerebrovascular patients. Prior to joining VHC Health, Dr. Kim was employed by the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates to provide Neurointerventional and Neurology services. Since joining VHC Health, Dr. Kim has been voted as a Top Doctor by his peers in both Washingtonian and Northern Virginia Magazines several times.
ANV’s YouTube channel
If you miss a Coffee and Conversation speaker, be sure to check out ANV’s YouTube channel where we post some of our Coffee and Conversation speakers and other special events. Sit back and enjoy!
Lunar New Year Celebration, Wednesday, February 21, 5:00-7:30 pm
Join us for dinner to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Mark’s Duck House 6184 Arlington Blvd. There’s plenty of parking, is wheelchair/handicap friendly, and a special menu has been curated just for ANV. We are returning to an ANV favorite with a spectacular menu.
The cost of the meal is $40.00 including tax and gratuity. Beer and wine by the glass may be purchased separately with dinner, or you can bring your own bottle of wine for a $15.00 corking fee. To pay for your meal, please bring cash in an envelope with your name on it. Please do not pay for your meal using credit card (this allows us to keep the cost at $40 per person). However, you can pay for any beer or wine purchase with a credit card.
RSVP by Friday, February 16 by emailing Office@ANVarlngton.org or by calling the office at 703-509-8057. Be sure to include the name of each attendee with their email and/or phone number and let us know if you need a ride.
We are responsible for the number of diners in our group, so you also have until Friday February 16 to cancel your reservation. Otherwise, we will plan on your joining us for dinner and you will be responsible for the cost of dinner. Members, volunteers and friends are welcome. We hope to see you to celebrate the Lunar New Year as we return to a well-loved restaurant.
Arlington Historical Society
Thursday, February 8, 7:00 pm, on Zoom
Black Decoders at Arlington Hall
In Arlington Hall, a secret African American unit – mostly women and unknown to most white workers – tackled commercial codes, keeping tabs on which companies were doing business with Hitler or Mitsubishi. National Security Agency historian Dr. David Hatch will tell us the invisible history of African-American codebreakers during World War II. Please Register by Wednesday, February 7. Zoom access information will be sent to you on the morning of the event on Thursday, February 8.
Zoom Practice Session
If you need some extra help getting familiar with ZOOM, just call or email office@ANVarlington.org and we will set you up with a volunteer who can help you.
Tai Chi: Tuesdays at 9:30 am
ANV Tai Chi practice meets outdoors every week, weather permitting. Meet the group in the parking lot at Museum of Contemporary Art (formerly Arlington Arts Center) at 3550 Wilson Blvd. If the forecast is too cold or wet, we will meet indoors. If you are interested in joining this practice (not instruction), please contact Anita Wallgren at email@example.com or (202) 674-5553 to get the weekly location email.
Indoor Bocce at Pinstripes, Thursday February 1 and February 15
Winter indoor bocce returns! Join us at Pinstripes on alternate Thursdays, at noon for bocce and lunch. As with previous years, Pinstripes is offering free bocce provided we stay for lunch at their popular Bistro (lunch menu). For those who may enjoy a handcrafted cocktail, Pinstripes offers them at half price all day Thursday. Pinstripes is located at 1064 Wisconsin Ave, NW in Georgetown.
The easiest way to get there is by Metro Bus #38B towards Farragut Square, leaving from the Ballston Station at 11:30am. Parking in Georgetown is limited and pricey, so it’s best to leave your car at the Ballston Quarter garage and walk one block to the Ballston Metro Bus terminal on Stuart St. in front of Starbucks. This year we will play at Pinstripes every other Thursday until the weather turns warm. Pinstripes requires reservations for lunch so please let John Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) know by the preceding Wednesday at 9:00 am if you are coming. We will play bocce from roughly noon to 1:00, then lunch from 1:00 to 2:00.
ANV Board Games Day, Thursday, February 8 and February 22 at 2pm
Do you like board games? Join ANV members and volunteers for Games Day at Ballston Quarter Food Hall (lower level). Look for players at the tables near the elevators. Play games like Rummikub, Mexican Train Dominoes, Ticket to Ride, Quiddler and more. We play every other Thursday at 2pm. Parking is available in the Ballston Quarter parking garage for $1. Contact John Thomas for more information at email@example.com .
Happy Hour: Thursdays, 5–7 pm
Join the ANV Happy Hour Group. The Happy Hour Group will try locations in the Ballston area. For more information and to know the weekly plan, contact Mike Murtha, Happy Hour Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike will add you to his email list and let you know the weekly location on Thursday morning.
Men’s Lunch, February 9 at noon
Please join us for our February lunch at the Istanbul Grill, 4617 Wilson Boulevard in Ballston. The Istanbul Grill features authentic Turkish cooking including cold and hot mezzes, wraps, and kebobs. There is ample on-site parking. Please RSVP to Tim Burns at email@example.com.
Ladies Lunch, February 9 at noon
The Ladies lunch returns to Shirlington in February. We will meet at Corso Italian, a new restaurant featuring hand-made pasta and Italian classics in a vibrant atmosphere. The restaurant is located at 4024 Campbell Avenue. Shirlington offers plenty of free garage parking. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org so we may have an accurate count.
Page Turners – February 22, 11am on Zoom
Share a book that you have read, and you think would be interesting for other people to read. It can be something you are reading now, or a book you enjoyed in the past. Meet up with your fellow bibliophiles, share opinions, and learn about new books to add to your reading list. The group is hosted by Donna Pastore and Beverly Cannizzaro.
Join the conversation via Zoom:
You also have the option to dial in by phone to participate without video. For that, dial: 301-715-8592. The meeting ID is 896 6678 5566 and the passcode is 007241.
Pop Up Picnic in the Park (PPP)
PPPs are on hiatus for the winter months. We hope to see you again as soon as the weather warms up.
Arlington Public Library Programs
The Library has curated events from the 55+ Program, Encore Learning and elsewhere to make it easy to find something that will pique your interest. There are craft programs, book clubs, and more. It’s worth 5 minutes of your time to click on the calendar of events and see what’s happening at your local branch of the library.
Going to Pot; Seniors’ Use of Cannabis, by Joan Smith
A recent Washington Post Health article (Jan. 3, 2024) explored the use of cannabis by senior citizens, and found that 8% of people over 65 reported having used it in the past year. While experts agree that marijuana (cannabis) has therapeutic value, they caution that there are potential downsides to consider before trying this out. But, first let’s be clear about the topic.
Marijuana (aka cannabis, weed, pot, dope) refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant. The plant contains many compounds including tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) which is mind-impairing or mind-altering, as well as other compounds including cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is not impairing, so does not cause a “high” while THC does. Please visit the CDC website to learn more..
Scientists are still trying to determine which compounds may help, and which may hurt, thus the plant taken whole is not advised. At present, the FDA has approved one plant-based marijuana drug (Epidiolex) which contains purified cannabidiol (CBD) from the plant. The drug is used to treat seizures associated with a rare form of epilepsy. The FDA has also approved two medications (brand names Marinol and Syndros for one, and Cesamet the other), made from a synthetic or lab-made chemical that mimics THC; these medications are used to treat nausea in patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, and to increase appetite in AIDS patients.
The Post article stresses that older people who are on any medications such as for blood pressure or irregular heartbeats, need to be cautious, and consult their health care provider before adding anything from the cannabis plant, as some compounds greatly affect the potency of the original drugs and/or the physical conditions. Since cannabis is now sold in so many different forms, one has to be selective as to whether it contains THC and/or CBD. Of course, smoking and vaping are not recommended as they adversely affect the pulmonary functions. And, while Gummies seem innocent, they may be easy to overdose on, causing concerning symptoms. A study published in 2023 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that “cannabis-related emergency department visits for adults 65 and older in California soared from 366 in 2005 to 12,167 in 2019”!
Many seniors try out cannabis in desperation when their chronic pain, or sleeplessness does not respond to previous treatments. Plunging in without caution can be dangerous! Discussing this with one’s health care provider first, and coming to a consensus on what and which form to take is wise. The provider may consult to see how the cannabis can negatively interact with medications commonly used by older patients, such as blood thinners, antidepressants and seizure medication. Apparently, the enzyme that metabolizes CBD is the same one that metabolizes other drugs, influencing the effectiveness of prescription medication.
CBD is widely marketed by many celebrities and others, for pain relief of muscles and of arthritis, and (full disclosure, this author has used a cream); the creams seem to have positive effects, while missing the THC compound (the mind-altering one). But, the potency of the external use CBD as well as the tinctures taken by mouth, are not really standardized. And because the CBD market is loosely regulated “and beset by legal loopholes, some products labeled as pure CBD actually contain THC.” (Post article, Jan. 3, 2024)
There is now a label on overuse, “cannabis use disorder,” essentially addiction, that is more frequently seen now in those over 65 who are hospitalized for cardiovascular risk factors; this puts them at a greater risk for heart attacks and strokes. Thus, cannabis use needs to be examined by the patient and health provider as to the “cost/benefit ratio.”
So, with all the research done and information we have, it is still an individual decision, that bodes well to be carefully evaluated on an individual basis.
New Lifeline Pricing and Options
For anyone considering a medical alert system for themselves, a client, friend or family member, Virginia Health is excited to offer new pricing and a new product option.
- Monthly prices for all in-home units will decrease starting January 1. Savings vary by unit but are up to 15% off previous pricing. In addition, there will no longer be a one-time purchase fee for the mobile (“On the Go”) device – a savings of $99.
- The mobile device is now smaller. At only 1.5 ounces, the new On the Go Mini is easy to wear and comes with a belt clip, which gives the user more versatility. This device offers the same benefits as the original On the Go device, including 4G LTE, 2-way voice communication, waterproof design, fall detection feature, and locating technology.
As a reminder, Virginia Health is always willing to help individuals with limited income. The VHC Lifeline Assistance Fund helps to decrease the monthly cost anywhere from 40-60% depending on the unit. Questions, contact 703-558-6859 or
COVID Annual Vaccination
Getting vaccinated and boosted is an important way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. If it’s been a while since your vaccination/booster, your protection may need a boost. Updated COVID-19 vaccines are available now and protect against the Omicron variant. Other vaccines, including this year’s flu vaccine, are also available. Staying up to date with your COVID vaccine can reduce the risk that you’ll:
- Get seriously ill, need hospital care, or die from COVID-19
- Develop long COVID-19
- Spread the disease to others, putting their health and lives at risk.
Also of Interest
Aging Matters Radio and TV
Aging Matters radio is a weekly program on Arlington’s community radio station WERA Arlington 96.7 FM. Every Tuesday at 2 pm and Friday at 2 pm, host Cheryl Beversdorf interviews experts on topics impacting the lives of older adults and their families. All Aging Matters broadcasts can be found on Apple and Spotify. Aging Matters TV Show offers interviews with aging experts, including demonstrations of aging related subjects. Stories of Life programs feature interviews with older adults who have made a difference in their communities.
Shared Area Village Events Calendar
The Washington Area Villages are sharing their speaker series for all of us to enjoy. Please visit their calendar to see what’s available.
Complimentary membership in Arlington’s 55+ Program is available as an ANV membership benefit. If you haven’t yet opted-in and would like to do so, contact our Member Services Director at 703-509-8057. 55+ Program offerings are posted in the quarterly catalogue available online at Winter Guide.
ANV Events are posted on our online calendar so you can always easily find the Zoom link for any scheduled event.