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 McLean'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 McLean, 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%, 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 (4.38% in McLean 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 McLean. 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 McLean, 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:
Sunrise of McLean provides personalized care just 15 minutes outside Washington, D.C. Its Reminiscence neighborhood is tailored for seniors with Alzheimer's and related dementias, with carefully chosen lighting, colors and furniture arranged in an easy-to-navigate layout. Staffed by a highly trained team, the community delivers 24-hour assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing, medication management and mobility. Caregivers and life enrichment managers use the latest evidence-based approaches, such as validation therapy, to put full focus on every resident and meet their unique needs. Each day is filled with engaging activities, including art projects, crafts, multisensory experiences, group activities and outings. Nutritious meals and snacks are customizable, and residents can help prepare in the country kitchen. A media room, sunroom, soft-lit reflection rooms, spacious living areas and secured outdoor spaces let residents relax and socialize as they wish.
Visiting family members compliment the staff and ambiance. "They have a lovely staff, and they have been great to work with," says one relative. "The community is very well-kept, everything is always very neat and tidy. He has a lovely small apartment, that looks great. They really work hard to make sure everything is running smoothly."
Ingleside at Rock Creek provides holistic care and beautifully decorated accommodations for individuals dealing with the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's. Each person receives a customized plan of care that emphasizes seven dimensions of wellness and includes recreational activities such as music and art therapies. A fitness program keeps residents active, and all-day dining allows seniors to honor their bodies' natural rhythms and enjoy chef-prepared meals when they feel hungry. The spacious apartments get plenty of sunlight through large windows. When it's time for some fresh air, the enclosed courtyard with raised gardens awaits. On-site physicians' offices and therapy suites simplify ongoing medical care, and licensed nurses are present 24 hours per day to handle any emergencies that arise. A salon and spa are located on campus to help seniors look and feel their best.
Reviews praise the caring attitude of the highly trained staff and the quality of amenities offered by the community. One family member reports, "The rooms are fantastic, big, very clean and comfortable! The staff is polite, responsive, courteous! The whole process of selecting the facility, signing the contract and moving in was flawless! The food is delicious."
Vitality Living Arlington helps individuals with Alzheimer's and dementia enjoy a high quality of life in a secure, nurturing environment. Staff undergoes training on how to best communicate with and care for people showing symptoms of memory impairment. Care is guided by individual plans tailored to seniors' physical, mental, emotional and social needs. Recreational programs provide exercise for both the body and mind, and events are held in the on-site theater regularly. Family members receive support and guidance from the team throughout the move-in process and beyond. Small pets are welcome and enjoy the same attention and care from staff as their two-legged companions. To ensure safety, keypad locks limit access to the memory care neighborhood. An enclosed courtyard and garden offer opportunities for fresh air and sunshine.
Although reviews describe the decor and amenities in glowing terms, the community's caring staff typically gets the most praise from family members. One relative says, "Can't say enough about the entire team here. The care given to our father was the best of the best. We could not have found a better place for his care."
Sunrise at Reston Town Center provides a fulfilling lifestyle for seniors with Alzheimer's and related dementias, with a convenient location just minutes from the area's top shopping and dining. Memory care residents reside in a secure Reminiscence neighborhood staffed by highly trained caregivers who offer personalized assistance 24 hours a day. Providing help with bathing, dressing, grooming, mobility and medication management, the team is easy to reach with emergency response systems in every suite. On-site physical, occupational and speech therapy ensure well-rounded support, with medical care available at nearby Reston Hospital. This easy-to-navigate environment features spacious common areas, community dining with three home-cooked meals daily, country kitchens and activity areas for cognitive programming and art projects. Children and pets are frequent visitors to the community, and seniors can enjoy a schedule filled with bridge, poker, cooking, painting and even a walking club.
Visiting family members praise the friendly, helpful staff. "I have found the administrators both professional and warm enough to know them by their first names," says one relative. "Every single person, director, nurse or caretaker, cook or aide, has a smile and greeting for residents and visitors. I'm so grateful to have this caring community."
Sunrise of Alexandria is a senior living community that is conveniently located close to shopping and dining areas, as well as an airport. The community creates a warm, familiar atmosphere for residents through team members forming strong bonds with residents. Its elegant accommodations are available in a variety of floorplans and are designed for comfort and safety. All apartments have full bathrooms and emergency call response systems. Complete assessments are also conducted on each resident and care plans are individually tailored to each resident's preferences and requirements. The community has a neighborhood that has been specially created for those with memory loss. It features residences alongside dining and living areas, allowing for familiarity and ease of navigation. The neighborhood also features memory-focused activities and life enrichment managers that are trained in memory care techniques.
Residents are very grateful for their involvement in the community, with one saying, "I love the place where I live! I love helping with activities! The more involved with Sunrise I get, the more happier I get! Sunrise of Alexandria is awesome! If we keep our residents happy, I will keep myself happy as well!"
Sunrise of Arlington offers award-winning memory care in a vibrant environment, just minutes from the centers of Arlington and Lexington. Residents receive compassionate 24-hour care from caregivers with Alzheimer's Association-approved training, and they're partnered with life enrichment managers who get to know their unique needs. From assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and medication management to navigating the community and socializing with others, staff are happy to lend a hand. Memory care residents can relax in the secure Reminiscence neighborhood, which features unique spaces such as soft-lit reflection rooms, cozy living rooms for family visits and activity areas to gather over art projects, puzzles and cognitive programming. The daily schedule includes wide-ranging activities, from exercise classes to off-site trips. Visiting physicians, therapists, dentists and physical and occupational therapists provide a full spectrum of care under one roof.
Visiting relatives note the kind team and active schedule. "The staff is doing a great job with my grandmother," says one family member. "She enjoys the meals and going to the dining hall. They do offer activities, and grandma has gotten involved with a couple. The community is clean, and she is happy."
Brookdale Potomac provides memory care in a cozy, home-style community that features studio apartments and companion suites. Nurses and caregiving staff are on-site 24/7 and reassess residents' health and cognitive function on a semi-annual basis. Activities that enable residents to socialize and flourish, including painting or yoga, are planned weekly. The memory care program at Brookdale Potomac is designed to let residents get to know their caregiver, who becomes an expert on their needs. Family members of residents receive weekly update emails and calls from the clinical team to give them the best care possible.
Reviewers frequently praise the community and environment at Brookdale Potomac. One writes, "They have excellent staff members, and the clients all seemed very happy. They have a lot of activities for the people. It's an excellent facility. I liked the staff and the atmosphere. They were very friendly and knew the clients on a first-name basis."
Grand Oaks Assisted Living welcomes seniors to its charming Georgian-style residence that features spacious, well-appointed accommodations. The Oasis memory care neighborhood boasts a comfortable, homelike setting with access to secure, open courtyards and scenic views. Staff nurses and caregivers are available around the clock, providing attentive support such as behavior monitoring, medication management and respectful hands-on assistance with daily routines. Residents benefit from the community's evidence-based wellness programs focusing on fitness, spiritual well-being and nutritional support. Brain fitness exercises include music appreciation, stress management and relaxation classes, book clubs and lectures. Seniors can also look forward to holiday and birthday celebrations. Grand Oaks partners with Johns Hopkins physicians who specialize in Alzheimer's, memory care and aging to provide basic and preliminary medical services. Through this program, seniors gain access to comprehensive, state-of-the-art health programs.
Visitors and families are impressed with the friendly atmosphere, noting that residents seem happy and cared for. One writes, "Grand Oaks is a stand-out community. They show great care for the residents and commitment to detail. Residents are always smiling and looking their best. The activities provided give the residents a high quality of life."
Sunrise of Bluemont Park provides care for seniors living with Alzheimer's and related dementias, with a secure Reminiscence neighborhood designed just for them. Staffed by specially trained team members, residents can rely on around-the-clock assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, eating and medication management. Each resident is paired with a life enrichment manager who offers consistent support using the latest evidence-based approaches, such as validation therapy. Personalized programming includes options ranging from daily exercise to small group activities, off-site trips, multisensory experiences and visits from local children. Within this environment, seniors can relax in spacious living rooms, gather for art projects and puzzles in the activity rooms or attend club meetings in softly lit reflection rooms. Chef-prepared dining features nutritious choices, and country kitchens encourage resident involvement in meal preparation. Virginia Hospital is conveniently located nearby.
Loved ones commend the compassionate team. One reviewer says, "The staff in general is made up of very kind, helpful people, and the nursing staff in particular seems very caring and professional!" Another writes, "The facility is well kept and clean, the residents are well taken care of, and they do a good job with the food as well!"
For seniors living with memory loss, Sunrise of Hunter Mill offers a secure, stimulating environment in the heart of Oakton. Its Reminiscence neighborhood is designed for those with Alzheimer's and related dementias, with specialized spaces, such as soft-lit reflection rooms with soothing music, country kitchens, and activity areas for cognitive programming, puzzles and crafts. Residents are paired with life enrichment managers who address their individual needs and interests. These highly trained professionals provide around-the-clock support with tasks of daily living and use evidence-based approaches, such as validation therapy, to become trusted companions. With frequent visits from children and pets, seniors enjoy a lively lifestyle, and they experience engaging activities seven days a week, including multisensory experiences, exercise classes, group programming and off-site trips. Three home-cooked meals are included, and amenities feature a media room, a beauty salon and on-site physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Loved ones praise the nurturing team. "The staff here are incredible," says the wife of a resident. "They 'love' each one of their residents and do everything possible to make their stay a peaceful and fulfilling one. My husband will live the rest of his days at this facility and I can't think of a more caring place."
Nestled in a vibrant location, The Jefferson is a Sunrise Senior Living community that offers luxurious lifestyle options, including memory care. The Reminiscence memory care neighborhood boasts bright living spaces, secure outdoors and vibrant common areas that serve as venues for group activities. Reflection rooms feature soft music, special lighting and other soothing elements ideal for relaxation, and the country kitchen brings out wonderful, stimulating aromas. Residents find comfort in the attentive, personalized care from individually assigned caregivers who use research-based dementia practices recognized by the Alzheimer's Association. Daily schedules include a wide range of therapeutic social, physical, cognitive and recreational programs, and visits from families and local school children are always something to look forward to. Skilled nursing and rehabilitative care are also available for those needing special care.
The Jefferson received positive comments for its caring staff, great location and attractive apartments. "My mother lives in the memory care unit at this facility," writes one family member. "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."
Nestled in a prime location near hospitals and leisure centers, Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights is a Sunrise senior living community that offers a range of care options. The Reminiscence memory care neighborhood caters to residents living with various forms of cognitive conditions, offering a home thoughtfully designed with safety and comfort in mind. Accommodations are located close to the common areas, allowing residents to easily mingle with peers for fun social activities. Large, open spaces, comfortable furnishings, special lighting and color schemes add to the homelike, familiar setting. Attentive care is provided by individually assigned caregivers who are specially trained in research-based dementia care practices and validation techniques. Therapeutic programs and activities keep residents engaged and stimulated, and loved ones can keep track of community events through Sunrise's family engagement app.
Family members appreciate receiving timely feedback about loved ones' conditions. One says, "The whole family is extremely pleased with the care that our mother is receiving at Brighton Gardens of Friendship Heights. They keep me informed very regularly of her health and of how she is doing in the residence. Because I am far away, it is very good to know these things."
Tall Oaks Assisted Living offers Reflections, a memory care program that promotes independence and personal fulfillment by taking a person-focused approach while incorporating the most up-to-date therapeutic techniques. Residents live in the Rose Garden Memory Care Center, a neighborhood featuring an enclosed outdoor courtyard and a light-filled sunroom designed to ensure residents' safety while providing a homelike environment. Numerous therapeutic services, including physical, occupational, speech, art, music, reminiscence and pet therapies, are available at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center. Residents and their families can participate in two in-house support groups, one for dementia and one for Parkinson's disease. More specialized care is available at the Tall Oaks Medical Center from various specialists, including a registered dietitian, podiatrist, geriatric dentist, optometrist, internist, audiologist, geriatric psychiatrist and dermatologist. The staff, including a licensed practical nurse, is on-site 24/7 to provide personal care services.
People love the friendly staff and clean environment. The son of a resident writes, "The staff is very friendly and nice, and the community is kept very neat and clean. Communication between the staff and our family was good, and they kept us well informed and responded to us very quickly if we had any questions."
With its full range of lifestyle options, The Residences at Thomas Circle assures seniors of the right level of care to meet their varying needs. For those dealing with cognitive challenges, the community's memory care program offers safe surroundings, equipped with secure perimeters, modern security systems and emergency response protocols. It uses a comprehensive approach to care, with an on-site nursing staff providing regular wellness checks and medication reminders. Residents benefit from the many activities included in the Embrace memory care program, ranging from reading activities, multisensory exercises, cognitive stimulation and social engagement. Happy hours, holiday parties and local community events add to the community's vibrant atmosphere. The Residences provides nutritional support through personalized diet plans tailored to individual preferences and medical requirements. Meal assistance is available to those with special needs.
Families describe the staff as a godsend. "My father is thriving in memory care because of a caring and dedicated staff that ensures that he is well cared for and safe," shares a resident's daughter. "The staff are very kind, professional, accessible and responsive. My family is very happy and confident that we made the best choice for my dad's care."
Sunrise on Connecticut Avenue offers seniors a luxurious residential environment complemented by convenient amenities, well-balanced meals, an active lifestyle and comprehensive care. The community offers long-term care solutions for elderly individuals dealing with cognitive issues in its thoughtfully designed Reminiscence neighborhood. Individually assigned life engagement managers use evidence-based dementia care practices recognized by the Alzheimer's Association. The main highlight of its memory care program is the validation method, where caregivers are trained to manage residents' challenging behaviors, such as isolation, impaired judgment and difficulty with everyday routines. With a CareConnect electronic health record system in place, the care team can closely monitor residents' health and wellness status and provide families and health care providers with timely updates. Additionally, Sunrise helps residents thrive by offering a wide range of therapeutic social, educational, devotional and recreational activities.
People love the stimulating environment and caring staff. "My mother is a current resident at Sunrise Connecticut Ave," writes a resident's daughter. "The most outstanding aspect of this place is the amazing staff. All of the staff are kind, friendly, extremely capable, highly professional, respectful, patient, flexible, and most of all, caring and clearly happy and proud of their work."
Silverado Alexandria is a senior living community dedicated to those living with memory-related conditions. Managed by a team of certified dementia care practitioners, masters-level gerontologists and round-the-clock nurses, the community ensures comprehensive care for those living with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lewy body dementia. Silverado has three distinct neighborhoods that provide tiered plans for different stages of cognitive conditions. The Nexus neighborhood promotes independent, brain-healthy living that helps improve the quality of life of those with early-stage conditions. Seniors with late-stage dementia benefit from a higher level of care within the Sensory neighborhood, and the Enrichment program is a transitory program between Nexus and Sensory. The pet-friendly community features secure outdoor areas for relaxation, and residents can look forward to fun, stimulating activities, such as cooking, crafts, tai chi and yoga.
The community's regular updates keep families at peace. "I get texts about things my dad did, pictures, a video of my dad dancing with the performers they bring in for Happy hours several times a week," shares a resident's son. "There are monthly family support groups; seminars by caregivers about memory care; dinners where families of residents can get together to talk."
Sunrise at Fox Hill provides award-winning senior care in a country club setting, with shopping, dining and entertainment options nearby. Tailored for memory care residents, the Reminiscence neighborhood offers a secure, easy-to-navigate environment with staffing from highly-trained caregivers and life enrichment managers. Using a personalized approach, they offer services designed around residents' distinct needs, including assistance with bathing, eating, mobility and medication management 24/7, and all staff members are reachable via emergency response systems. Reminiscence features a full calendar of activities that include multisensory activities, art projects, puzzles, crafts and off-site trips. Meals are fresh and chef-prepared, with seasonal selections crafted around resident needs. Specialized spaces include soft-lit reflection rooms with soothing music, relaxing common areas and country kitchens where residents can help prepare meals.
Loved ones compliment the staff, meals and amenities. "The facility is fantastic and the staff is outstanding," says one reviewer. "Residents are engaged in various activities, enjoy excellent food in a beautiful dining room, and can relax on a comfortable terrace, sit by the fireplace or take a walk outside to the gazebo!"
Located on the northwestern border of Washington, D.C., Sunrise of Chevy Chase provides a high level of care minutes from world-renowned shopping, dining and entertainment. Designed for residents living with Alzheimer's and related dementias, the Reminiscence neighborhood offers a safe, stimulating environment staffed by a highly-trained team. Seniors receive around-the-clock care and assistance with daily living, including eating, dressing, mobility and medication management. A full schedule of stimulating activities keeps them engaged seven days a week, with options ranging from multisensory experiences to exercise classes, art projects and social events. Fresh, seasonal meals are crafted by a professional chef, with community dining and country kitchens where residents can help prepare meals. Secured outdoor spaces offer space to enjoy the outdoors, soft-lit reflection rooms with soothing music feature space to relax, and spacious living rooms are ideal for gathering with loved ones.
Residents enjoy the community's vibrant lifestyle. "I previously had lived at 2 other assisted living places in this area, and Sunrise of Chevy Chase is SO MUCH nicer and more comfortable," says one. "There are activities throughout the day everyday. The food is excellent, and the staff and managers are very friendly, and helpful."
Located near downtown's historic center, Sunrise of Falls Church pairs personalized, around-the-clock care with a lively lifestyle. Its Reminiscence neighborhood is tailored for residents living with memory loss. Staff receive Alzheimer's Association-approved training to learn the latest evidence-based dementia care methods. Using a personalized approach, they design care plans around each resident's needs and preferences, so seniors can expect support with tasks ranging from dressing and clothes selection to mobility, socializing, eating and medication management. Residents stay active with daily therapeutic activities, such as social and educational programs, devotionals, exercise classes and multisensory experiences. Designated activity areas allow residents to connect over art projects, puzzles and crafts, and they can enjoy club meetings in soft-lit reflection rooms with soothing music. Children and pets are frequent visitors to the community, and secure outdoor spaces encourage interaction with nature.
Visitors compliment the welcoming ambiance and kind team. "The facility is clean and nicely decorated. Has a homelike feel to it," notes one reviewer. "The staff is very friendly and welcoming every time I go to visit my mother. She seems to be well attended to by staff. They seem to really care about the residents."
Hunters Woods at Trails Edge enhances its residents' emotional, spiritual and social satisfaction levels while providing customized services for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Staff members create a sense of belonging and initiate verbal and non-verbal cues to help residents bond with their caregivers. Weekly activities that focus on each resident's remaining skills and activities give seniors a sense of purpose, while positive behavioral support decreases the risk of incidents resulting from residents' challenging behaviors. The community's Life Stories memory care support groups keep family members in the loop about each resident's progress, and secured courtyards allow seniors time in the fresh air and sunshine whenever the mood strikes them.
Family members are grateful for the top-notch care and beautiful community grounds. One says, "All our family is very pleased with the excellent care that my mother is getting, since her move from N.J. Mom has expressed how comfortable she feels at HW, as the staff is caring and the facility is lovely."