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 Fairfax County's senior population continues to grow (23.16% growth between 2014 and 2019), so does the concern about aging and the risk of cognitive impairment.
In Fairfax County, the number of deaths for those 65 and older caused or partly caused by Alzheimer’s disease increased by 12.73% between 2014 and 2019. To put that into perspective, the number of deaths from all causes for that same age group only increased by 8.69%. Overall, the percentage of seniors’ deaths related to Alzheimer’s is lower than the rest of the nation (4.38% in Fairfax County 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 Fairfax County. 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 Fairfax County, 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:
Spring Hills Mount Vernon is a midsize senior living community that welcomes seniors aged 50 and over into its assisted living and memory care programs. With help from family members and staff, residents decorate the vestibules directly outside of their apartments, helping them remember where their rooms are and with wayfinding in general. The community's proprietary Signature Touches program gets seniors involved with mentally stimulating and physically demanding activities. Residents receive help with laundry and housekeeping, and they can choose from entertainment opportunities, cultural activities and recreational offerings. Residents can stay in shape through wellness classes, and they receive regular wellness checks from the community's medical staff and monthly appointments with in-house doctors.
Relatives note that their family members are more than satisfied at this community. One says, "My mother has moved into Spring Hills Mount Vernon. It is clean and nice. The people are very attentive and helpful. The rooms are very nice, and they are private rooms. She got a very nice room. There is a nice selection in the menu."
Sunrise of Springfield is a multifaceted adult care community that serves residents with memory conditions. Seniors in its Reminiscence community receive consistent attention from caregivers who use validation therapy to communicate with them more effectively. Caregivers help those living with dementia to bathe, feed themselves and take their medications on schedule. This community offers opportunities to participate in group activities involving art, fitness, social and devotional events designed to match each resident's level of ability. Its campus features shared spaces that provide a sense of independence to memory care residents while keeping them secure, with a 24-hour bistro, tea room, media room, and dining rooms available. A state-of-the-art security system ensures families that their loved ones are safe and accounted for at all times, and they can monitor their relatives' health and communicate with them using a mobile application.
Relatives appreciate the quality of care provided by Sunrise of Springfield. One says, "Sunrise has been a blessing for our family. Mom has had ups and downs with her health, and the staff has been so wonderful in adjusting her level of care throughout. It gives me great peace of mind that she is taken care of better than I can do."
Sunrise at Reston Town Center employs clinically proven best practices to provide nurturing care for individuals dealing with the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's. Through the community's Reminiscence Memory Care Program, living areas are secure units within the larger facility, each with its own beautifully decorated dining and living rooms. This setup creates the feeling of a cozy neighborhood and makes the space easy to navigate. Life enrichment managers learn about residents' histories and hobbies and then create a customized daily care plan filled with activities tailored to their interests, skills and mental and physical needs. All staff participate in Sunrise Senior Living Orientation Training, which the Alzheimer's Association has recognized for employing evidence-based care research. This ensures that staff-resident interactions are positive and productive.
Reviewers frequently comment on how the staff ensures a seamless transition for residents and their families. Explains one relative, "My family needed to find a facility on very short notice. They explained everything we needed to know clearly and accurately and followed up on everything they said. My brother was in his room, which was bright and spotless, two days later."
Sunrise at Fair Oaks caters to seniors who need assistance in their daily lives. Apartments are located close to the living and dining areas to create a safe and familiar environment. Sunrise uses a personalized reminiscence program with daily exercise, therapeutic group activities, multisensory experiences and family visits to help seniors manage their daily activities. This includes appropriate assistance with personal care, grooming, bathing and eating. Carefully designed living spaces help seniors suffering from memory loss and dementia to be as independent as is possible. Specially trained team members are available to help around the clock.
Sunrise at Oaks is a well-kept community with caring staff. One family member says, " I watched the care staff running the operations, all were exceptional. The caregivers are the most caring, loving, and responsive that anyone would ever want for their loved one." Another says, "Beautiful, bright and spacious. The staff are remarkable."
Harmony at Chantilly is a community caring for seniors with dementia and similar conditions while prioritizing social interaction and fostering a family atmosphere. Memory care residents participate in the arts, cook with caregivers, enjoy live performances, and exercise together. Nurses and caregivers provide comfort and assistance to residents while keeping them safe within the alarm-secured community and monitoring their health to keep them hydrated and on the proper medication schedule. Laundry, housekeeping and other custodial tasks are taken care of for residents weekly, and a variety of indoor and outdoor community spaces offer a change of setting and chances to relax.
Many reviewers are highly satisfied with Harmony at Chantilly. One says, "We couldn't be happier with the Harmony community. From the staff to the residents, everyone made our mom feel welcome when she moved in three months ago."
Sunrise of Hunter Mill provides its residents with comfort and support in a peaceful setting in Oakton, minutes away from Georgetown University Hospital and Inova Hospital. The community features a separate secured neighborhood, called Reminiscence, that provides extended support for the special needs of residents with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. A designated Life Enrichment Manager trained in validation therapy and other special memory care techniques is assigned to each Reminiscence resident. The trained staff meets the needs of all seniors and assists them with the activities of daily living and medication management. Seniors can socialize and connect in the spacious living room, expansive gardens with walking paths and benches, recreation room and cozy sitting room. Residents can savor three chef-prepared delicious and nutritious meals in a restaurant-style dining room, and pureed diet options are also available as per their requirements.
Families and residents appreciate the caring and professional staff of the community. One writes, "The BEST decision we made was to select Sunrise at Hunter Mill. They took her in, and she immediately started to improve. The staff was always very professional, passionate and caring. They made her feel like it was her home."
Tall Oaks Assisted Living is a large, vibrant senior living community that offers assisted living, memory care, and short-term respite stays to residents ages 62 and up. The community applies evidence-based therapeutic approaches in caring for residents with memory problems, including reminiscence, pet, art and music therapy. The care staff also incorporate sensory stimulation into daily living. Residents enjoy accommodations with huge walk-in closets, personal HVAC system controls, wheelchair-friendly bathrooms and high-speed internet connection, and handymen take care of apartment maintenance.
Residents appreciate the highly individualized care at this community. One relative says, "My mother has moved into Tall Oaks at Reston Assisted Living. It's very good. The staff is very nice. They have television and entertaining aides. Her apartment is clean, and everything looks fine. Their staff is the best because they have individualized attention, which is important for the elderly."
Sunrise at Mount Vernon is situated on the campus of Inova Mount Vernon Hospital and is close to Huntley Meadows Park and the historic King Street Mile. Seniors living here can take advantage of the fully trained care team that is available around the clock to ensure they have access to assistance with the activities of daily living whenever needed. Well-maintained grounds make it easy to go for walk, and three nutritious, balanced meals served each day keep appetites high. Laundry and room cleaning services are also available. The community provides numerous activities that focus on cognitive, spiritual and physical health while also providing opportunities to socialize with other residents. Weekly schedule group trips allow seniors to get out and about.
Family members are frequently impressed with the quality of the food and how activities keep their loved ones engaged. One says, "My mother is at Sunrise at Mount Vernon. I have eaten a couple of times, and their food has been very good. They have lots of activities too. Every time I walked in, they have something going on."
With beautifully appointed apartments set amid lovely views, Harmony at Spring Hill is a warm, welcoming community that offers assisted living and memory care for seniors. Residents living with cognitive conditions can thrive in the community's memory care neighborhood through the Best Friends Approach, a holistic program that helps promote physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. This approach to care relies on creating meaningful engagement with other residents, family members and the staff, helping promote a sense of connection and belonging. Memory care plans include basic services such as medication management, health needs monitoring by a licensed nurse and dementia-friendly wellness programs. Living spaces are safe and comfortable, with a state-of-the-art emergency call system to promptly address urgent concerns. The community provides nutritious meals and a hydration station for complete nourishment, and well-appointed common areas are available for group activities.
Families and relatives like to visit, noting that the staff is welcoming, responsive and well-informed. "Harmony at Spring Hill has been taking care of my grandma," says a grandson. "The staff is there for the long haul and you get to know them over time. They couldn't possibly be any friendlier and they genuinely enjoy taking care of your family member."
Sunrise of McLean is a senior living community located in a beautiful setting in historic McLean, close to INOVA Fairfax Hospital and Virginia Hospital Center. The community provides personalized care to the residents with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory loss ailments. Reminiscence, a separate memory care neighborhood, is specially designed to facilitate the movement of residents to the living room and dining area and ensure maximum socialization with their fellow residents. Caregivers of the community are available round-the-clock and are trained in Validation Therapy and other facilitation programs to ensure optimum care of the residents. Numerous customized physical and cognitive activities keep the residents engaged throughout the day. Staff maintains electronic health records using the Sunrise CareConnect system to design individualized care plans for the residents. Seniors can savor nutritious chef-prepared meals that adhere to their special dietary needs.
Residents praise the ambiance and staff of the community. One writes, "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. They have a good range of beautiful rooms."
Conveniently located in a quaint residential neighborhood of Burke, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C., Sunrise at Silas Burke House is a short drive from Inova Fairfax Medical Campus. The memory care residents live in a specially designed, secure neighborhood, Reminiscence, which supports easy navigation and encourages social interaction. The memory care staff go through training based on the dementia care practice recommendations from the Alzheimer's Association. A life enrichment manager with validation therapy training creates an individualized care plan for each Reminiscence resident after a thorough assessment. The caregivers, available 24/7, help with activities of daily living, such as personal hygiene and grooming, dressing, showering, continence management, medication management and eating assistance, based on each resident's needs. Therapeutical and engaging activities, addressing cognitive, spiritual, recreational and social needs, are available.
Family members love the attentive staff. A reviewer writes, "Sunrise Burke is beautiful but what makes me give it five stars is the excellent care my mother is receiving in the Reminiscence neighborhood. The staff is knowledgeable in memory care and very attentive to the residents' needs. We are very happy with Sunrise at Silas Burke!"
Hunters Woods at Trails Edge is a large retirement community that offers assisted living, independent living and memory care to seniors ages 65 and up. The community's memory care program is nestled away in its own dedicated building, ensuring that residents with dementia and other memory problems are kept away from unnecessary, distracting stimuli that tend to aggravate residents. Staff members build daily activity plans around residents' remaining abilities and skills, keeping existing capabilities intact and even enhancing them when possible. Hunters Woods at Trails Edge's memory care seniors get to spend time outside in multiple secured courtyards that keep residents from wandering.
Visitors note this community's campus is beautiful and home to a vibrant group of seniors. One satisfied visitor says, "The community is beautiful! Like no other I have toured, and at this point I have seen six others. They thought of everything, and the food was so good! I was there during an event, and the residents even said hello!"
Sunrise of Fairfax is situated on a wooded campus, close to the cultural and historical attractions of Washington, D.C., and the natural attractions of the Potomac River. The community's apartments have luxury fittings such as quartz countertops and large windows that fill apartments with light. There are also numerous cozy community spaces that display local artworks as well as beautifully landscaped outdoor areas to relax in. The community's services are focused on the individual with neighborhoods specially designed for those with memory loss. Programming has a holistic approach and offers activities that focus on the areas of exercise, excursions, art, music, education, intergenerational mentoring, community service, and spirituality. Residents' days are filled with engaging activities to stimulate the mind, body and spirit and that can be enjoyed in the community's host of cozy spaces that include a theater, activities room and socializing areas.
Family members like the regular feedback they receive and the community's reasonable rates. One says, "Very quick and efficient service, and much more cheaply priced than the other places I looked up.''
Greenspring Senior Living Community is a large retirement community that provides memory care, assisted living, independent living and skilled nursing care. Memory care residents live in private suites designed specifically for seniors who have dementia or other memory issues, with easy-access pocket doors, full bathrooms, cozy bedroom areas and broad, tall windows designed to draw in natural light. The private memory care suites also feature emergency call alarm systems to ensure residents receive prompt help when needed. Greenspring's memory care neighborhood strategically strings colors together throughout the community to help residents navigate seamlessly. The neighborhood is wide-open, which encourages social engagement among residents.
Relatives appreciate the personal care staff's dedication to fulfilling residents' needs. One resident's son says, "My mother was in Greenspring, and the place was outstanding. They're on top of their game. They take care of their patients and make sure they have their medications on time. If patients needed to do physical, occupational, or speech therapy, they made sure they're scheduled."
Aarondale Assisted Living and Retirement Community is a midsize senior living community that cares for as many as 90 seniors across its memory care and assisted living programs. Aarondale Assisted Living and Retirement Community dedicates a separate living area for its Inspiritas memory care program. The neighborhood is securely locked to prevent residents with dementia from wandering away, yet it encourages independence among residents through interactive art pieces, open living areas and free gardening spaces. Nurses check on residents at least once every two hours throughout the day and at night, giving family members added peace of mind. These check-ins help address agitation and confusion among memory care residents before these feelings get out of hand. All new residents get help transitioning into Aarondale by Aarondale Ambassadors, who find personalized solutions to residents' unique needs.
Relatives widely hear glowing reviews about Aarondale from the residents. One family member says, "My mom moved into Aarondale Assisted Living and Retirement Community, and it's terrific. The staff is wonderful and takes care of the people. Mom's in there for dementia, and they have a good staff. The place is very clean and comfortable, so we really like it."
Goodwin House Bailey's Crossroads is a senior living community that offers independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care and memory care. The Terrace is the community's supportive environment exclusively for seniors who have dementia or other problems with memory. In the community's dedicated memory care program, residents partake in familiar yet stimulating and engaging routines day by day to reduce agitation, stress and overall dysphoria. The Terrace has a shared full-size kitchen, community dining room and open living areas that remind residents of homestyle living.
Visitors feel openly welcomed here. One visitor says, "Goodwin House Bailey's Crossroad was very lovely. I was received by the staff extremely well. The gentleman who gave us the briefing and the tour was incredible. We saw people in the art studio working on art projects, we visited the gym and saw people working out, and we saw people dining."
The Virginian provides a safe, supportive environment for those with dementia and Alzheimer's through its evidence-based Heartfelt CONNECTIONS program, which focuses on the skills and abilities that seniors have retained and takes steps to strengthen them. Before each new resident moves in, the care team explores the individual's history and interests and uncovers the challenges that they currently face, creating a customized plan that includes everything from support for daily living tasks and medication management to daily activities, including fitness classes, performances and art courses. Food is prepared on-site by trained chefs, and numerous dining options are available at every meal.
Family members praise staff's ongoing communication, which gives them peace of mind about their loved ones. One reviewer states, "The health care and the nursing care are very good there. They keep me informed. They call me regularly with any updates or changes."
Located in a peaceful residential area, Brightview Great Falls offers assisted living and memory care facilities to its residents minutes away from Reston Hospital Center. A separate dedicated neighborhood called Wellspring Village provides a secure and supportive environment for the special needs of residents with Alzheimer's, dementia and other memory loss ailments. Trained memory care associates offer round-the-clock assistance to seniors and design social programs tailored to their interests, abilities and skills. All rooms feature an individually controlled heating and air conditioning system, a full bath and an emergency call system with alert buttons and pendants for enhanced comfort and safety. Residents are engaged in daily activities, such as gardening, music sessions, and trivia and movie nights, to help them stay active. For example, the Mind and Music program focuses on developing a joyful atmosphere for all residents in memory care.
Families love the plentiful amenities offered by the community. One writes, "Brightview Great Falls is a great place. I am very impressed with it. They have fantastic facilities, the food is wonderful, and the services are really great. They really take a well-rounded approach, making sure that there is physical activity, mental stimulation, and great food."
Vinson Hall Retirement Community provides supportive care for individuals dealing with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in a specialized community known as The Sylvestery. Residents receive their own cozy studio apartments with layouts designed to allow for safe, independent navigation. Fitness classes, singalongs, brain games and other activities fill the days, but time is also provided for simple socializing in the sunny solarium. Seniors can also spend time in sensory oasis rooms that provide soothing mental stimulation through sight, sound, scent and texture. Enclosed courtyard spaces offer opportunities for relaxing in fresh air, and regular supervised off-site outings get residents out into the surrounding community for a change of pace. Three meals and snacks are served daily with delicious offerings geared toward individual dietary concerns.
Friends and family members rave about the luxurious amenities offered by the community, and the location and grounds receive frequent compliments. One reviewer says, "It has a pleasant hilltop campus in McLean that keeps it private even though it lies across the street from a small shopping center with bank, supermarket, drug store, and restaurant."
For individuals facing symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia, Brightview Woodburn delivers attentive care in a joyful, warm community known as Wellspring Village. Because no two people experience cognitive impairment in the same way, the care team develops individual plans for each resident. By executing these plans, staff delivers support for daily living tasks and medication management assistance using techniques tailored to each senior's personality and physical needs. Engaging activities based on each resident's abilities help strengthen and maintain skills. The Mind & Music program supports mental well-being through Sonos Sound Systems loaded with custom playlists that include favorite songs. Carefully designed apartments located near dining rooms, communal gathering spaces and secure outdoor areas allow for easy independent navigation and give seniors opportunities for socializing in familiar surroundings.
Friends and family members consistently praise the activities program. One reviewer explains, "In normal times, the residents enjoy daily activities such as bingo and happy hour and movies. The atmosphere is like a big family. The community offers every amenity one could wish for. The main concern of management and the staff is the well-being of the residents."