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 Arlington's senior population continues to grow (28.69% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Arlington, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 3.57% between 2014 and 2019. The number of deaths from all causes for that same age group decreased by 6.25%. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.01% in Arlington 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 Arlington. 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 Arlington, 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:
Vitality Living Arlington is a memory care and assisted living community located in the heart of the city. Keypad entry and enclosed indoor and outdoor spaces help keep memory care residents safe. Creative programming by staff trained in memory care support allows residents to participate in the art classes, games and exercise groups that Vitality Living offers. When residents aren't participating in activities and therapy, they can socialize in the many beautiful common areas and enjoy the many on-site amenities, including a game room, piano, theater, computer center, library, gym, courtyard and garden.
Residents and loved ones comment on how bright and friendly Vitality Living Arlington feels, with one writing, "I would say the main reason we chose the facility is because of the staff. They were wonderful. We absolutely fell in love with them. The dining room is very clean, and the serving staff is wonderful. They have a lot of activities."
Winner of an American Association of Services and Homes for the Aging award, Sunrise of Arlington hosts memory care in a bed and breakfast setting. Alzheimer's Association-recognized care plans feature validation therapy, a system of alternative communication, mood-matching and centering for sometimes disoriented residents. Their schedules may include a walking club, socials, scenic outings and meditation. Throughout this routine, trained staff monitor behavior and provide assistance with aspects of daily living. While residents have access to communal amenities including a fireside living room, the Reminiscence memory care neighborhood has self-contained areas with softer lighting and soothing music. In the dining room and bistro, staff serve three diet-friendly meals plus snacks.
Residents and loved ones praise the warm, close-knit atmosphere. One says, "I knew as soon as I walked in that Sunrise was the place I wanted my Mom to live in. [Staff knows] the story of every resident. The residents are out and about and so happy and friendly."
Sunrise at Bluemont Park is an award-winning assisted living community with a dedicated memory care neighborhood. Those with Alzheimer's and other cognitive issues reside in the Reminiscence neighborhood, which features calm, secure apartments located near living and dining areas, promoting social engagement and ease of navigation. Residents can explore secure outdoor areas as well as media rooms, living rooms and a sunroom specially designed to be accessible to those with dementia. Each resident is assigned a life enrichment manager who develops a personal relationship with them while helping them decide how to manage their care and arrange their activity calendar. Activities available at Sunrise include gardening, arts and crafts, exercise classes and cognitive therapies.
Loved ones appreciate the trust and care between staff and residents. One family member states, "My parents are very happy here, the staff is what they like the most about it. They go to the movies, the church groups and my dad has a therapist that they have on site that comes up and works with him. They really like the food."
At the Jefferson, residents enjoy a secure, maintenance-free lifestyle in a luxury setting. Seniors with memory loss are encouraged to stay active on the beautifully maintained grounds and in the indoor heated pool. Community members enrich their minds through daily activity programs designed to holistically engage them each day. There is a fitness center and an in-house chef who prepares fresh, seasonal meals using brain-food recipes. Residents and loved ones enjoy peace of mind through the sunrise care connect e-health record system, allowing physicians and staff to track medication and monitor resident care. Seniors can enjoy the library or spacious entertainment center and the park and garden center promote connection with nature.
Reviewers like how attentive The Jefferson's staff members are. One said, "The Jefferson was gorgeous. The staff was fantastic. We visited it a couple of times, so we had more interactions with the staff. The person who was giving us the tour was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. We also got to talk with other members of the staff who were very impressive. We were invited to a dinner and the food was delicious."
Sunrise of Springfield is an award-winning community located just minutes from Interstate Highway 95. Its Reminiscence neighborhood is a secure, stimulating environment for residents living with Alzheimer's and related dementias. Services focus on the individual, and seniors are paired with life enrichment managers who provide around-the-clock support with the activities of daily living. Team members receive training approved by the Alzheimer's Association, and they learn validation therapy to put their full attention on each resident while incorporating their unique talents, abilities and preferences. Living spaces are designed to promote independence and easy navigation, with country kitchens, soft-lit reflection rooms, and shared living and dining spaces. Therapeutic activities feature social, educational and recreation programs each day, with an emphasis on building community through outreach work for veterans, the fire department and local homeless shelters.
Visiting relatives feel their loved ones are well cared for. "My loved one is doing beautifully, we are blown over because we never expected her to be this happy, she is thrilled," says one reviewer. "This community has been everything we were looking for, they offer high-quality care, they are a place we feel comfortable with."
Sunrise of Alexandria is located in a quiet, residential community minutes from the heart of the nation's capital. Amenities include weekly laundry and housekeeping. Residents of the Reminiscence neighborhood have special accommodations for memory care conditions, including personalized care plans and common spaces that are near resident suites for easy navigation. Staff members communicate with residents using validation therapy, which includes open-ended questions, emotion matching and direct eye contact. Activity offerings include bingo, mindful meditation and trivia, all of which can help to reinforce cognitive skills. The Memory Lane activity allows residents to reminisce with others about various decades, which can help with memory retention.
Residents and their loved ones laud Sunrise of Alexandria for the staff's professionalism and programming, which includes family members. One writes, "I have nothing but top marks to give Sunrise of Alexandria. The people running the places were superb to deal with. They have been very accommodating to my mom. The place was also very clean."
The Oasis Neighborhood of Grand Oaks Assisted Living Community is located on Sibley Memorial Hospital's campus. In this self-contained memory care community, residents have access to open-air courtyards, a fireside den and a library. In these areas, residents enjoy mental fitness games, ballroom dancing and live entertainment. Staff encourage positive mental, social and emotional engagement through pet visits and cooking classes. Throughout these activities, staff monitor behavior, cognitive abilities and mood. They also help residents build their routines with frequent gentle reminders while the nursing team coordinates proper medication administration. In the dining room, the executive chef prepares diet-friendly, restaurant-style meals featuring fresh produce.
Residents and families praise the comprehensive care. One writes, "From nursing to physical therapy; recreational activities; restaurant and maintenance employees and all administrative personnel, the competence and service were of the highest levels and I now consider many of the people I met friends."
Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights delivers care in a comfortable, homelike environment. Memory care is provided through the Live with Fulfillment program, which uses group fitness, brain games and activities meant to help with memory conditions. Activities for memory care residents also include walking and bridge clubs, foreign language learning and social engagements, including movie nights. Life enrichment managers work with residents, most of whom live in the Reminiscence community, to curate care plans that address their specific cognitive conditions. In addition to the easily navigable environment, the community features a 24-hour bistro, sun room and cafe/tea space.
Reviews of Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights largely discuss the depth of communication family members receive from staff and the quality of care found here. One notes, "The whole family is extremely pleased with the care that our mother is receiving at Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights. They do a great job, and they keep me informed very regularly of her health."
The memory care residents at The Residences at Thomas Circle live in a secure neighborhood with a beautiful enclosed courtyard designed to provide a calm environment that minimizes distraction and confusion. This community offers an award-winning memory care program, known as Embrace Memory Care, to help seniors living with dementia find more connection and joy in their lives. Caregivers perform regular wellness checks on residents and help them with activities of daily living, including grooming, bathing and medication reminders. For urgent matters, the caregivers are available through an emergency call system 24 hours a day. For activities, residents can take chair aerobic classes at the fitness center, pamper themselves at the beauty salon, curl up with a good book at the library or enjoy a bright summer day in the outdoor swimming pool. This community provides transportation to doctor's appointments.
Family members praise the caring staff. The daughter of a resident writes, "The staff has been a godsend to my father and our family. My father is thriving in memory care because of a caring and dedicated staff that ensures he is well cared for and safe. The staff is very kind, professional, accessible, and responsive."
Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue is situated in the heart of the nation's capital in a cosmopolitan setting that reflects the history and sophistication of the area. Memory care programming is delivered to residents in the Reminiscence neighborhood of the community, where resident suites are located near common areas to make navigation easier. Reminiscence care plans include medication management and help with daily activities as needed. Activities for memory care residents reinforce cognitive skills and include structured learning and discussions, group fitness, including a walking club, and art sessions in the in-house studio. The pet-friendly community offers laundry and housekeeping services to free residents up for other activities. Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue also offers an on-site farmer's market, movie nights and ice cream socials and spiritual services.
Community reviews discuss the array of amenities provided as well as the robust memory care programming. One writes, "I have several family members at Sunrise on Conn. I have to say that it has been a really, really good experience for all. Mom did not want to leave her house, and now she couldn't be happier."
Sunrise of McLean is a bustling and vibrant community nestled amid the sprawling acreage of Northern Virginia. Everything is curated to residents' tastes and preferences, from care plans to meals. Memory care is delivered through the Reminiscence construct, which means that resident suites are located next to dining and social spaces. Life enrichment managers work with residents to shore up cognitive skills, while the entire staff is trained in Validation Therapy. This approach enhances communication through open-ended questions, direct eye contact and rephrasing, as needed. Activity options for residents include flower arranging, nature presentations and scenic rides, while physical fitness consists of a walking club, table bowling and fitness sessions that incorporate movement with music.
Community reviews discuss the array of activities that keep residents fully engaged. One notes, "Mom is in Sunrise of McLean. This is the one that really hits all the buttons. It is more upper class and closer to home. What I like best about it is that it has a very homey environment. The staff is wonderful."
Sunrise of Falls Church has a robust memory care program that creates personalized care plans for each resident based on their interests and needs. Services include laundry, housekeeping and medication management, for those that opt in. Memory care residents live in the Reminiscence community, which was designed to be easily navigated. Residents can enjoy visits from local entertainers and group outings to nearby attractions. Activity options include "Guess That Phrase," mind puzzles and history lectures that support cognitive skills. Other activities include chair fitness, tea socials and smoothie socials. There is an on-site art studio, where residents can explore their creative side, as well as a baking club, yoga classes and news hour discussions.
Residents and their loved ones praise Sunrise of Falls Church for its engaging memory care activities and personalized care plans. Staff friendliness and professionalism are also points of note. One writes, "We've placed my mother-in-law in Sunrise of Falls Church. They play bingo; they have music programs. I've interacted with the staff. They've all been very helpful and nice."
Forest Side is a memory care community located in a serene setting in the wooded areas of Chevy Chase, minutes away from Sibley Memorial Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital. This secure memory care unit provides a homelike environment for residents with Alzheimer's, dementia or other memory loss impairments. The community focuses on encouraging, understanding and connecting with the residents to better serve their unique abilities and needs. Highly trained caregivers offer extended support to residents through customized care plans and routines and help them enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle. Daily engagement activities such as music, arts, exercise classes, wellness programs and neighborhood strolls keep seniors engaged and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Residents can socialize, connect and relax in the screened porches, walking garden and spa. Seniors can savor delicious and nutritional meals and snacks in the spacious dining areas.
Families appreciate the community's efficient staff. A resident's spouse writes, "Moved my husband with Alzheimer's here about a month ago. He is adjusting 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."
Staff members at Maple Heights Senior Living undergo specialized memory care training that enables them to provide customized treatment plans for community residents living with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The community's accommodations are equipped with ADA-compliant furnishings and luxurious finishes, and the secured on-site courtyard allows memory care residents to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air when desired. Private gardens with walking paths are also available on the grounds. The chefs here use local, seasonal ingredients to prepare meals, which are served in the community's elegantly appointed dining room. Residents may also opt to enjoy their meals in the more informal bistro area.
Family members like the memory care program, amenities and accommodations here, saying, "I particularly like how they incorporated memory care into their model," remarks one reviewer. "Their floor plans are great too. Lots of amenities."
Located just outside of Old Town Alexandria Virginia, the community of Silverado Alexandria provides a secure and nurturing memory care environment. Staff is trained and certified with a Dementia Care Certification program, which involves 40 hours of classroom work and hands-on training. The grounds feature courtyards with butterflies and birdhouses, vegetable and flower gardens and lots of seating areas. The pet-friendly community offers many activities such as various fitness programs, gardening and Dakim Brain Fitness, which is proven to help sharpen the mind. Day trips are also organized as well as picnics and barbecues so seniors with memory loss maintain a passion for life.
Reviewers appreciate this community's commitment to kindness. One said, "As soon as I entered the building I realized that this was an entirely different kind of place. It is a community of residents and a staff of people that treat everyone as family."
Located within walking distance from Old Town Alexandria's top restaurants, boutiques and theaters, Sunrise of Old Town offers quality care in a stimulating setting. With individualized service plans, every resident receives care tailored around their distinct needs and preferences. Within the Reminiscence neighborhood, seniors living with Alzheimer's and related dementias are paired with life enrichment managers who use the latest evidence-based care approaches. Reminiscence care plans include 24-hour assistance with tasks such as personal hygiene, dressing, socializing, mobility and medication management. Personalized programs include options ranging from multisensory experiences and outings to daily exercise, group activities and visits from children and pets. This environment features living and dining areas designed just for memory care residents, a sunroom, 24-hour bistro and secured outdoor spaces. Seniors can also help prepare meals in country kitchens or relax in soft-lit reflection rooms.
Visitors like the scenic setting and easy access to medical care. Residents can explore the gardens, relax on outdoor porches or stroll along walking paths, and the community is located near both Waterfront and Founders parks. With INOVA Alexandria Hospital and Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis nearby, medical support is never far away.
Arden Courts of Annandale is a community exclusively for seniors with memory loss disease. The campus has a homelike atmosphere with four self-contained houses, and each house has a shared living room, dining room, kitchen, full bath and laundry. Common areas shared by all houses include an activity and craft studio, a wellness center, and a barber and beauty salon. In the secured backyard, seniors can enjoy landscaped walking paths or relax on the porch. Group programs and individual pursuits are offered throughout the day and are personalized for all levels of dementia. The trained staff members reassure and support residents, managing their challenging behaviors, monitoring their health and offering assistance with activities of daily living as needed. Personalized care plans are created for each community member to promote comfort and independence.
Family members are happy with the knowledgeable staff and quality of care provided for their loved ones. "I was impressed with the daily program, the knowledge of staff members, and how they interacted with the residents. They do an admirable job in knowing each resident and this focus on individualized plans," states a resident's spouse. "My wife has thrived since her entry into Arden Courts and I have found that I have a peace of mind that I haven't had in quite some time."
At Brandywine Living at Alexandria, seniors can enjoy a luxurious retirement experience with access to quality care services that simplify daily life. The community offers a state-of-the-art Reflections memory care program designed for seniors with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. Community living spaces are specially designed for residents' safety and security, featuring a dedicated butler, senior concierge services, 24-hour nursing staff and emergency response systems in every suite. Specialized caregivers approach each resident as an individual, delivering personalized support and attention to benefit their unique needs. Innovative, memory-focused programs help promote stimulation and engagement, including the Butterfly Program, music therapy and My Life My Story, which provides residents with a range of fun activities and events catered to their interests and abilities.
One reviewer describes Brandywine Living at Alexandria as "a beautiful community that takes excellent care of the residents and brings peace of mind to their families." They go on to say, "The [community] is beautiful and the scheduled activities keep the residents on the go and involved. The wellness team offers excellent and caring support and is tuned in to the residents' needs."
Brightview Woodburn provides a homelike and comfortable environment for its residents in a calm setting in Northern Virginia, minutes away from Inova Fairfax Hospital. A dedicated memory care neighborhood, Wellspring Village, provides a safe environment for residents with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory loss impairments. Trained caregivers provide 24-hour service and create personalized care plans that help foster a sense of belongingness among residents. Seniors are encouraged to participate in engaging activities, and the Mind & Music program helps create a pleasurable and harmonious atmosphere for all the residents. On-site therapy sessions and regular visits by a podiatrist, dentist, audiologist and dermatologist help maintain the health and well-being of seniors. Residents can savor chef-prepared delicious meals that adhere to their specific dietary needs, and a private dining room is available for celebrations with friends and family.
Residents and families appreciate the professional staff and activities of the community. One writes, "My mother is in Brightview Woodburn. It's an excellent facility and a great community. The staff, physical appearance and cleanliness are outstanding. They have daily activities, music, movies, exercise, and themed get-togethers. The dining room is nice and the food is good. "
Ingleside at Rock Creek offers a safe, caring and inclusive community centered around meeting the needs of residents living with cognitive change. Highly trained staff serve residents using Ingleside's Well-Being Philosophy, an approach to memory care centered around research-based principles like purposeful living, connection with others and personal independence. Residents can choose from a number of floor plans offering spacious, well-lit residences and access to beautiful, secured gardens as well as a holistic fitness and well-being program, chef-inspired dining, technology-based engagement activities and salon and spa treatments.
The facilities are highly regarded by family members, and there are plenty of engaging activities within the community and surrounding neighborhoods. One resident said that what he most likes is that "IRC is community with all that term involves," and others praised the "excellent" health services and "friendly, helpful, and cheerful staff."