D.C. Housing News — October 2021
Game table entertains, engages
This summer, residents of The Virginian, a senior living community in Fairfax, Virginia, noticed an unusual new table in their common room. Called Obie for Seniors, the table-like device projects colorful games onto its surface. One to four players can participate, slapping the table and dragging their fingers across the illuminated screen.
“The residents really seem to enjoy it,” said Andrew Carle, executive director of The Virginian, who brought Obie to the facility. “We’re among the very first to have it in the country, let alone on the East Coast.”
Carle, who has a background in technology, has been designing memory care facilities for 25 years. When he heard of Obie for Seniors, he knew it was perfect for The Virginian, which will soon have 40 memory care apartments as part of a $56.5 million renovation. Des Moines-based LCS manages the community and 140 others.
“Part of the reason I joined the Virginian was to design an entirely new memory care facility,” Carle said. “We really wanted to take it to the next level.”
With a goal “to offer state of the art science-based evidence-based memory care — and to use technology to do that,” Carle said, The Virginian will feature circadian lighting, daytime programs and color-coded neighborhoods so residents don’t get lost.
For memory care, he said, “You’re trying to address apathy, you’re trying to address boredom, and you’re trying to address the ability to communicate.” Obie is fun, engaging and doesn’t require communication, he pointed out.
“If you think of the ABCs of dementia care, it’s one device covering all the bases.”
Creative storytelling at Waltonwood
Every week, residents of Waltonwood Ashburn’s memory care unit in Ashburn, Virginia, gather to tell their stories.
“The creative storytelling program is one that is incredibly special for our community,” said Rachel Reed, life enrichment assistant, who facilitates the program.
“This program gives our memory care residents the opportunity to tell their own stories in a way that is entirely their own…and build connections with one another.”
Launched three years ago, the program asks residents to talk about a theme. For example, at one meeting the class tossed around a beach ball and created sand art, then shared memories about the beach.
“These exercises provide our residents with the ability to use their voices to connect with one another while they create,” Reed said.
Waltonwood at Ashburn has 114 independent living apartment homes, 72 assisted living apartments and 27 memory care apartments (mix of private studios, one- and two-bedroom floor plans) for up to 270 residents at its 14.5-acre facility.
Luxury apartments unveiled
Acclaim at Belmont Bay, new luxury senior apartments in Woodbridge, Virginia, held its grand opening last summer.
The apartment complex, located near the Occoquan Historic District and the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, has a restaurant, pool, fitness center, game room and greenhouse, all overseen by a professional services staff, weekly housekeepers and maintenance personnel.
Residents can also watch a movie in the facility’s small theater, take classes in the Occoquan Art studio, and enjoy on-site beauty services at the spa and salon.
Open to people 62 and older and to people with disabilities, Acclaim at Belmont Bay is a joint venture between Senior Lifestyle Corporation and Bonaventure Senior Living.
Author festival at Ashby Ponds
On Sept. 22, two dozen proud writers presented their books at Ashby Ponds’ author festival. Their self-published books included history titles, poetry, memoir, fiction, horror and inspirational works.
Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Senior Living Community of 1,800 residents in Ashburn, Va., welcomed the press and others to the event.