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More Seniors, More Needs

Day trips are becoming more popular as well, Humphrey said. He offers six to 10 a month, about two a week on average, and they are booked two months in advance. A recent booking for a day trip to Gettysburg quickly sold out, but with additional bus transportation, more participants were accommodated.

Overnight trips to such destinations as Jacksonville, Fla., New Orleans, Montreal, Niagara Falls and Cape Cod book as much as five months in advance. A trip to Ottawa in July sold out in 1 1/2 hours, Humphrey said. A second trip has been booked for August.

Seniors await the start of a sold-out bus trip earlier this month to see the cherry blossoms in the District. (Tracy A. Woodward -- The Washington Post)

Huddell said the popularity of the bus trips could be related to the lack of public transportation in Loudoun. Seniors elsewhere in the area have greater access to theaters and museums via public buses or Metrorail.

One of the biggest problems facing the growing senior community is a lack of affordable housing and housing options.

"I was director of PR at Morningside [House], and what I saw was a lot of people moving in from other states to be with their children, and there just weren't enough facilities," said Jacob, who has gone back to school to earn a degree in social work and gerontology.

The issue of senior housing is of particular interest to the Loudoun County Commission on Aging, an advisory body to the Area Agency on Aging, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

"We want to see a range of plans for independent and single-family housing, assisted living and CCRCs [continuing-care retirement communities], which include . . . housing options for a long-term insurance plan so seniors can remain under one roof," said Anne Edwards, the agency's division manager.

Loudoun has two nursing homes, seven assisted-living facilities and 10 independent-living facilities. It doesn't have a CCRC, but the county Planning Commission is reviewing an application for one called Green Springs in Ashburn.

"It definitely is needed," Jacob said. "It would be nice to have one in the county. I see many spouses trying to take care of their [more ailing partners] at the expense of their own health."

Loudoun Senior Lifestyle Expo, 3-6:30 p.m. May 12, Leesburg Baptist Church, 835 Lee Ave. Free. 703-777-0259.

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