Healthy & Independent Living

Healthy and Independent Living (HAIL) was established in memory of Andrew Bergner and his family who were active parishioners at Emmanuel. It serves a conduit to programs benefiting older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers. HAIL also links with the Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) services as well as subject matter experts, and opens the door for a wide range of topics and activities to benefit our congregation and the entire Middleburg Community.

HAIL hosts talks on a wide range of topics. Past presenters include:

  • Lesley Katz from the Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging who shared information on adult day centers, caregiver services, chore corps (simple repair and chore services for older adults and adults with disabilities), and senior trips. Visit for more information.

  • Cristin Wipfler, Registered Dietitian in Middleburg with a Master’s in Public Health. on nutrition and getting and staying healthy while balancing life's demands. Following the presentation, everyone who attended got to take home a salad in-a-jar to enjoy.

  • Karen DiFederico, Assistant Vice President and Market Leader at BB&T who offered three presentations on financial scams, identity theft, choosing a spoke on financial representative.

Each event is followed by a buffet lunch. All events are free and open to all.

A Guide to Assistive Devices for People with Special Needs


Assistive technology devices help people with special needs achieve their goals. Individuals with disabilities use assistive technology products to do activities they can’t do on their own. People of a wide range of ages and abilities count on these tools to make the world around them more accessible and comfortable. A person with a disability can find greater independence with an assistive device that lets them participate in their lives the way they want.

Most people obtain an assistive technology with a purpose in mind. They have a goal they want to reach, and the device will help them reach it. Just as we all have different abilities, we all have unique goals. Assistive devices serve a variety of uses, enabling people to complete tasks like:


  • Communicating

  • Playing

  • Moving

  • Hearing

  • Seeing

  • Paying attention

  • Calming down

  • Developing language or motor skills

  • Expressing ideas

  • Grasping items

  • Taking care of themselves

  • Preparing food

  • Getting dressed and undressed


While one person may need a device for only one of these tasks, someone else may need assistive technology for more than one activity. Assistive technology can enable a single action or many at once. Someone with a disability might need their device every now and then, or they might bring it with them everywhere they go.

This presentation will introduce people to a variety of assistive technologies, their uses, and how to obtain them. The presenters do not represent any particular company and are not selling devices.