Dementia, and specifically Alzheimer's, is a serious, growing problem. In fact, 1 out of every 10 adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s dementia. As Alexandria’s senior population continues to grow (19.61% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Alexandria, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease rose by 16.67% between 2014 and 2019, showing that Alzheimer’s is a growing concern in the region. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.62% in Alexandria vs. 6.46% in the U.S.).
To help families and caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of cognitive impairment find the support and care their loved ones need, we applied our unique methodology and spent dozens of hours researching senior living communities in Alexandria. In addition to an overview of the communities’ best features, this guide highlights the best memory care facilities in the city, and gives information about pricing, types of care provided, residents’ reviews, and more.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 83% of all caregivers are unpaid family members, relatives, or other friends, and nearly half of all care is for older adults with some form of dementia. Caregiving, especially when it involves Alzheimer’s or dementia, is extremely exhausting and time consuming, leading many caregivers to feel isolated and overwhelmed.
As a loved one continues to progress through the stages of dementia and his or her cognitive abilities continue to decline, behavioral problems, safety, and general care often become more than one caregiver can handle. This is when it’s important to find extra help, and residential facilities that have specialized memory care programs are often the best solution.
In addition to providing a safe environment, memory care programs seek to delay or halt cognitive decline while providing the opportunity for a social, independent lifestyle.
To choose the best memory care facilities in Alexandria, our team of researchers started by using our unique methodology to develop a list of contenders. We further refined the list in the next phase of our process by completing hands-on research for each one of the companies that we developed. Finally, we compiled online reviews from residents and families and wrote summaries of each facility that made it through our selection process.
Overall, our team:
Brandywine Living at Alexandria gives residents a luxurious living experience near the historic Old Town. The community has its own movie theater, pub and therapy pool, giving residents everything they need for an active retirement. The dining room serves meals restaurant-style, providing varied options to meet the tastes of individual residents. The Escapades for Life program strives to offer education, entertainment and health and wellness activities for each resident to take part in if they wish. Memory care residents are provided a secure area of the community to live in with close monitoring. The independence and autonomy of memory care residents are carefully protected while staff cares for their personal needs.
This community stands out to visitors and residents because of its caring staff and well-maintained grounds. This creates an upscale living experience. One visitor said, "Brandywine Living at Alexandria is elegant. The location is excellent and the grounds are very well-maintained. The staff is excellent."
Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights is nestled in a quiet neighborhood, and it’s within a walking distance from the Friendship Heights Metro hence is easily accessible. The apartment-style senior living community is just a few minutes from beautiful parks such as the Willard Avenue Neighborhood Park, providing a serene environment to residents who love the outdoors. The community provides memory care services to older adults living with dementia. The Reminiscence Memory Care Program is a neighborhood that provides a calm and secure area where resident suites are close to dining and living areas to promote social interaction and easy navigation. The program includes memory-focused activities, separate areas and life enrichment managers trained in special memory care techniques. Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights has on-site amenities such as barber and beauty shops.
Residents appreciate the clean premises, diligent staff and multiple activities available. One family member says, "We are very pleased with them. They have been wonderful. They are very clean and friendly, and they are very quick to respond to any needs or concerns. They have so many activities to choose from she can't do them all. The food is good. We have no complaints whatsoever.”
Brookdale Arlington offers a homelike and comfortable setting where seniors can relax in their golden years. The memory care unit is safe and secure with keypad access required for entry and exit, and a registered nurse and team of dedicated caregivers are always on hand to provide comfort and compassionate assistance as required. The on-site beauty salon and barbershop keep residents looking their best at all times. Occupational and physical therapy services are available in the on-site therapy room. With three nutritious meals served on a daily basis, mealtimes are kept routine to avoid any confusion for residents, while a private dining room can be booked for celebrations with family and friends. Activities offered include musical entertainment, arts and crafts, gentle exercise classes, card games and gardening. Residents are grouped for activities based on their cognitive and physical abilities.
Family members praise the excellent staff, with one saying, "The staff at Brookdale is not only fully trained and professional, but they have a heart and truly care for their residents. I am amazed each day by their dedication, caring and passion towards excellent care for our loved ones. They treat my family like their own family."
Forest Side is a memory care facility offering services to individuals throughout the Alexandria area. Staff members and caregivers at this community participate in dementia-specific training through a partnership with Axis Health Care Group. Residents are encouraged to socialize with one another in the large communal spaces located within the facility that are ideal for group discussions, dance and spiritual services. When residents are looking for some fresh air, they can enjoy time outside on the secured patio or balcony. In addition to on-site activities, residents at Forest Side can participate in excursions and day trips to local destinations and events.
Residents' family members enjoy knowing that their loved ones are receiving great care at Forest Side. One reviewer says of her spouse, "He is adjusting quite well and the staff has done an excellent job of communicating with me. They pay a lot of attention to him and have got him taking part in activities. The staff is friendly and helpful."
Grand Oaks Assisted Living Community is conveniently located in the heart of Washington D.C. and on the same campus as Sibley Memorial Hospital. The Oasis Memory Care neighborhood is located in a secure building that requires keypad access for entry and exit. Residents have access to safe open-air courtyards where they can go for a stroll or relax with family and friends. Each private suite is designed to provide a home-like setting where residents feel comfortable and are surrounded by personal belongings. The community rooms have large windows that offer expansive views over the city, and the comfortable chairs near the windows are a popular place for seniors to relax. A team of dedicated caregivers is always on hand to provide assistance and manage medication requirements. Activities offered are personalized to each resident's individual life goals and cognitive abilities.
Families praise the caring staff and delicious food options, with one reviewer saying, "Everyone was so friendly, the residents were all smiling and the food was excellent. It put my mind at ease seeing how well they care for residents. You can tell they like what they do."
Maple Heights is centrally located near Rock Creek Park and offers assisted living and memory care services to seniors across Washington, D.C. The community is designed to be homely and comfy while still remaining safe for those with Alzheimer’s and other memory conditions. Secure courtyards and private gardens provide residents with the opportunity to enjoy fresh air and exercise in a safe environment. The community also supports senior’s physical health with chef-created meals that are provided in the communal dining room. The chefs use fresh ingredients and can tailor each meal to suit specific dietary requirements, and residents get the opportunity to socialize with their neighbors. Activities such as wall scrabble, dominos, exercise classes and gardening are offered to promote cognitive function in seniors. The community also has a movie theater for entertainment, while the beauty salon allows them to pamper themselves.
Residents and family members alike enjoy the amenities of the community, with one saying, "The staff members were accommodating. The room sizes are nice and adequate. ... During family activities I have eaten here. The food seemed good and they have a chef that prepares the food for the residents. I would absolutely recommend Maple Heights Senior Living."
Silverado Alexandria Memory Care Community provides individuals with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory loss-related illnesses with competent and compassionate care. The community is organized into distinct "neighborhoods" to allow residents to experience a customized and independent living environment. It offers a range of stimulating activities and events to help seniors maintain cognition and purpose, including partnerships with local schools and youth organizations to enhance residents' lives through the presence of children. To keep residents entertained and comforted, the community is home to several well-trained pets. Seniors receive three gourmet meals per day and are provided with daily laundry and housekeeping services.
Residents' family members are pleased with the care their loved ones receive at this community. One reviewer says, "Silverado is clean and bright, and looks more like a club or hotel than what you might envision for a memory care center. Residents are allowed to move from one floor to another for activities and events, as opposed to being restricted to a certain space or floor."
Spring Hills Mount Vernon is located in a historic and peaceful neighborhood just a few miles from shops and medical facilities. The community is secured, enabling memory care residents to safely walk around the entire building and explore the landscaped gardens. A team of dedicated caregivers is always available to provide compassionate care and manage medication. The on-site medical team is specifically trained in working with seniors with cognitive impairment disorders. Physical and occupational therapy services are offered at the on-site fitness center. Regular wellness checks are carried out by a registered nurse to monitor the wellbeing of residents. Three chef-prepared meals are served daily, and assistance is provided to residents who need help at mealtimes. Seniors are grouped for activities based on their cognitive and physical abilities. Activities offered include arts and crafts and musical entertainment.
Family members praise the staff and activities offered, with one reviewer saying, "My father has moved into Spring Hills Mount Vernon. It's an excellent place. The staff is very nice and personable. It's well kept, clean, and organized. ... They got him involved in Bingo, they got him active in their daily activities, and they had movies.
Residents of Sunrise at Bluemont Park live in an environment that fosters independence and personalized care. The community offers assisted living, memory care, hospice care and respite stays. Staff members are available 24 hours per day and provide housekeeping, trash removal and laundry service. A nurse conducts monthly wellness visits with each resident. Seniors can take part in physical fitness classes, group trips and resident-sponsored clubs, among other activities. In the community's Reminiscence Neighborhood, residents receive specialized memory care, and they stay in areas that promote easy navigation and interaction with others. A Life Enrichment Manager (LEM) is assigned to each memory care resident and helps develop an individualized care plan. Other available services include help with personal hygiene and mobility. The community is close to Virginia Hospital and the Seven Corners Shopping Center.
Reviewers have praise for both the staff and grounds of Sunrise at Bluemont Park. One calls the community "very nice" and "clean," and another reviewer notes that the staff provides "excellent communication and support." A third reviewer describes the food as "awesome" and also compliments the rooms.
Sunrise at Mount Vernon is situated in a tranquil yet well-connected area of Mount Vernon, just outside Alexandria. It is next to the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, close to parks and a creek. There are spacious communal lounge areas and an activities room where residents can learn new skills and practice old ones. The activities director creates engaging activities, designed to promote brain and body health, including gardening and community service projects. Residents can enjoy delicious homemade meals with fellow residents in the bistro or dining room, and they can have dinner celebrations with loved ones in the private dining room. The professional staff is available around-the-clock to assist residents with their daily needs and do laundry and housekeeping.
Visitors praise the attentive care and great food, with one reviewer saying, "They're very caring. If I have a problem, I can call and they would call me back. I have eaten a couple of times, and their food has been very good. They have lots of activities too. Every time I walk in, they have something going on."
Located just minutes from INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Sunrise at Silas Burke House is dedicated to providing memory care services to seniors with Alzheimer's, together with assisted living, short-term respite, and coordination of hospice care. The community's Live With Purpose program works to engage all seniors in activities that support their health and well-being. The Reminiscence neighborhoods also assist in this goal. Exercise classes such as yoga, Zumba and the walking club focus on improving seniors' balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance. The community also runs arts and crafts classes that offer residents the chance to express their creativity and engage their brains. Book clubs, trivia games, and discussion groups support cognitive activity and help residents still feel like they are contributing to life. Sunrise also offers intergenerational meetings where residents share their experiences, skills, and wisdom with the younger generations.
Residents love the amenities and staff, with one saying, "This is an absolutely beautiful facility! The Staff, Management Staff, and Executives are friendly, accommodating, and use a very personal approach to residents and visitors alike. Very clean, inviting, and well maintained."
Sunrise of Alexandria sits not far from Old Town Alexandria in Northern Virginia. This puts it close to the Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis location and the INOVA Alexandria Hospital. Physiologists, gerontologists and podiatrists visit weekly to help with therapy and medical care for residents. Each resident has personalized care, whether they need assisted living or memory care services. Sunrise of Alexandria utilizes the Reminiscence Memory Care Program, which provides memory care residents with a specialized neighborhood that provides added security and easy navigation. The memory care neighborhood has staff trained in Validation Therapy. Residents have a varied menu to choose from, with three meals and snacks being offered throughout the day.
Spacious rooms and a convenient location stand out to visitors at Sunrise of Alexandria. One family member of a resident said, "I have nothing but top marks to give Sunrise of Alexandria. The people running the places were superb to deal with. Back and forth between the hospital and Sunrise, they have been very accommodating to my mom. The rooms are quite nice."
Sunrise of Arlington is located in a residential area of Arlington. It is close to nature, while also being close to shops and restaurants. The community has a secure courtyard and backyard for residents to relax in and comfortable communal areas. Residents are offered a range of activities, including physical activity classes, art classes and community projects. There are also scheduled group trips and resident-sponsored clubs to get involved with. The dining team prepares homemade meals three times a day, often inspired by the community herb garden. The friendly staff offers 24-hour care, as well as weekly laundry and housekeeping. Residents also receive a monthly visit from a licensed on-staff nurse.
Visitors praise the caring staff, with one reviewer saying, " The food is really good, and the staff is very helpful and kind. The rooms are really nice, and she decorated her room herself. You can make an appointment to get your hair and nails done, and they have a doctor and healthcare on-site, a wellness office, and a dentist comes in. There's a nice porch to sit on. The staff is very caring and nice."
Sunrise of Falls Church is a senior living community offering both assisted living and memory care located in historic Falls Church, VA. Overlooking a city park and just a few miles from Washington D.C., residents can enjoy a nature walk or relax on the back patio or even take a historic excursion into the city. Services include trained staff 24 hours a day, weekly housekeeping and trash removal and monthly wellness visits by a licensed on-staff nurse. Sunrise of Falls Church uses its Reminiscence Memory Care Program, where residents receive access to calm and secure areas promoting easy navigation and social interaction. Each program features a life enrichment manager trained in Validation Therapy to encourage seniors to interact and join in with events.
Family members are pleased that there are plenty of opportunities for residents to socialize and be entertained, One says, "We’ve placed my mother-in-law in Sunrise of Falls Church. They have a number of different activities. They play bingo; they have music programs. They take the residents out for dinner."
Sunrise of McLean provides assisted living and memory care in a beautiful wooded neighborhood in McLean. Memory care residents are each assigned a trained life enrichment manager who offers personalized care throughout the day. Sunrise of McLean's signature programs focused on creative expression and continued learning to keep residents engaged. Its music therapy and gardening classes also give residents opportunities to explore different interests. Residents can look forward to well-balanced meals made by trained in-house chefs. The community's approach to nutrition focuses on from-scratch cooking using fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Relatives appreciate the friendly, compassionate staff and the comforting environment. One says, "Mom is in Sunrise of McLean. What I like best about it is that it has a very homey environment. The staff is wonderful. They are really good, very thorough, caring, and they make her feel important. The food is delicious, and they welcome visitors, which is nice."
Sunrise of Springfield is conveniently located close to Kaiser Permanente Springfield Medical Center and shops. The trained staff is available 24 hours a day to assist with all elements of care, as well as to provide laundry and housekeeping. It offers daily activities, designed to enrich the body, mind and spirit. Activities include music therapy and gardening, as well as yoga and tai chi. The culinary team provides nutritious homemade meals made with local, fresh ingredients to remind residents of home. Residents can take advantage of the on-site amenities, such as the beauty salon and the party room, which is great for celebrations with loved ones.
Family members praise the high level of care and the accessibility, with one saying, "My sister is in Sunrise of Springfield and she seems to be happy. She's in a wheelchair and she's able to get the help that she needs. I find the staff to be very caring and pleasant people. They have exercises every week, they have lots of stimulating things, and everybody seems to be happy there. To me the food looks and tastes good."
Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue is a senior living community offering assisted living, Alzheimer's and memory care, hospice care and short-term stays. The community engages seniors through hands-on care and services, including trained staff and licensed nurses available 24/7, access to daily recreational activities, scheduled group trips and up to three well-balanced meals. Reminiscence, a neighborhood specially designed for people living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other forms of memory loss, helps residents center themselves each day through familiarity. Each resident has a designated life enrichment manager who encourages them to participate in activities, communicate and socialize with peers.
Family members enjoy the peace of mind that comes with their loved ones living at Sunrise. One says, "I have several family members at Sunrise on Conn, and have experiences with both the independent living and memory care components. There are much more vibrant activities and my life with my parents has changed in such a positive way!"
Dedicated to former military members and their spouses, The Fairfax at Belvoir Woods provides memory care, assisted living, skilled nursing, respite care and independent living in a campus-like environment in laid-back Fort Belvoir. In addition to offering convenient access to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, the community takes residents on regular trips throughout Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. The Fairfax at Belvoir Woods' Reminiscence memory care program features secure, relaxing areas throughout the community, facilitating seamless navigation and rich social interaction. Trained in validation therapy, life enrichment managers closely monitor residents' status to ensure they receive the care they need. The community is home to a large, stocked lake, putting green, tennis court and driving range net. It also features an Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary, giving nature-curious residents direct access to several endangered species.
People who live here praise the tight-knit, military-friendly environment. One says, "The Fairfax is probably the Cadillac of the system. It has a campus environment and excellent food. There are a great bunch of people. It is a military retirement place, so everybody has the same background ... I have a two-bedroom with a den that's very spacious and quite accommodating."
The Jefferson provides memory care services within an urban high-rise setting. Numerous memory-enhancing programs abound in the community, including music and brain-boost therapy sessions. Seniors can enjoy three chef-prepared meals per day and use the on-site indoor pool, beauty salon and spa as desired. Seniors can also work out in the community fitness center or participate in the regularly scheduled religious services. Caregivers help residents with daily living activities, including medication management. The pet-friendly community also offers on-site physical therapy as well as regular housekeeping and laundry services.
Family members are pleased with the level of care provided by this community. One says, "My mother lives in the memory care unit at this facility. Overall, my family's experience has been very positive. My mother is well cared for and seems very comfortable in her environment. Above all, the caregivers have expressed genuine concern for my mother and our entire family."
The Residences at Thomas Circle is a senior lifestyle community located in the heart of DC just blocks down the road from the White House as well as shopping, museums and monuments. Residents can choose from a studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom with the care they need. These include independent living, assisted living and memory care. First-class amenities are available for residents daily ranging from delicious meals, beauty barbershop, pools and resident transportation to the surrounding areas for sightseeing. Memory care is featured by incorporating specialized programming like stimulating activities and creating moments that stimulate the senses and call on engrained activities to encourage interaction with the world around them.
Residents enjoy the decor and the overall feel of the community. "The Residences at Thomas Circle is very neat, bright, and cheerful. It looks more like a hotel than an assisted living place," said a family member of a resident.