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Focus is on Understanding, Dignity and Compassion for Memory Care Residents at Spring Hills Mt. Vernon Assisted Living

March 15, 2019 | Blog

Alexandria, VA (March 15, 2019) — Spring Hills Mt. Vernon Assisted Living prides itself on its “resident-first” philosophy, and delivering compassionate, dignified care to memory care patients is a top priority. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.7 million Americans were afflicted with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, and that number will continue to grow as the US population ages.  Communicating and understanding individuals afflicted with dementia is critical to providing effective care; to that end, Spring Hills has devised and implemented several strategies to optimize memory care residents’ daily lives.

Alexander Markowits, President/CEO, comments, “The safety, health, and well-being of our residents is our most important concern. The residents in our memory care programs are especially vulnerable, so we take extra measures to provide them with the most compassionate, professional care and to ensure that they live with dignity. To that end, we strive to remain current on the latest research in the field and make sure that our personnel receive ongoing training in best practices.”

Thomas Clarke, Executive Director at Spring Hills Mt. Vernon Assisted Living, adds, “Our residents really depend on our positive attitudes and it is important for our residents feel that enthusiasm. Which is why our approach focuses on every individual’s qualities, emotions, and cognitive capacities, not their impairments or disease.”

As Dementia progresses, cognitive function and hand-eye coordination decline, so residents often experience difficulty with basic tasks such as eating, grooming, and dressing. The protocol ensures a dignified dining experience by serving food that is already cut in bite sized pieces or can be easily and politely eaten by hand. In terms of dressing themselves, reducing the number of selections in the wardrobe helps residents avoid an abundance of choices, which can be overwhelming. Removing items with complicated buttons and zippers, and providing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing enables them to continue dressing themselves for as long as possible, thus maximizing their independence and dignity.

Memory care residents may be suddenly upset or disturbed by a comment, a change in physical environment, or an action by another individual, and they may act out or become agitated. Caregivers are trained to identify and understand these behaviors, respond by changing the physical environment and proactively avoid the triggers in the future. This prevents outbursts and agitation among the residents, and fosters a calm, dignified day-to-day experience.

Instilling a sense of acceptance, community, and belonging in a positive environment is crucial for adults with cognitive illness.  One way Spring Hills fosters this atmosphere is through various “themed” spaces designed to be a work life attraction for the residents. Whether the space be set up as a laundry room, nursery, commuter bus stop, office setting or a classroom, these attractions spark positive memories and help the residents to recall happy experiences in their lives. Spending time in these spaces often ignite conversations with staff, and these exchanges forge connections and ways to continue reaching the residents in positive, uplifting ways.

About Spring Hills Mount Vernon Assisted Living:

Spring Hills Mount Vernon, located at 3709 Shannons Green Way in Alexandria, provides premier assisted living and memory care with the finest amenities in the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC, area. For additional information visit

About Spring Hills Senior Communities & Memory Care Communities:

All Spring Hills Senior Communities’, Home Care Services, Assisted Living Communities and Poet’s Walk Memory Care Communities offer a distinctive and innovative approach to home care services, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s care as led by Alexander Markowits, President/CEO. Signature Touches is the company’s holistic approach to offering individualized care and services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients. Personal choice is top priority in one of the company’s Spring Hills assisted living communities or in client’s homes with Spring Hills home care services located in NJ, VA, OH, FL and NV, or in one of the company’s Poet’s Walk memory care communities located in in TX, VA and NV as well as soon-to-be FL.  For more information about their Caring with a Commitment to Quality dedication to senior living, visit or

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