Residents at the Tribute at One Loudoun senior living community on Wednesday prepared for Memorial Day weekend, remembering the struggles of the past while also working to manage their own cognitive challenges today.
The seniors in the Connections program generally have mild cognitive disorders or are in the early stages of dementia. But through the program’s one-on-one care, they stay out of memory care and assisted living, which improves their quality of life.
As in many retirement communities, some are veterans—including Army Lt. Col. Jim Reams, a multilingual former pilot who taught at West Point, and Sgt. Will Donnich, a carpenter and businessman, both Vietnam veterans.
On May 25, they designed a display of flags around the entrance to Tribute in preparation for Memorial Day on Monday. That was followed by a reading circle with some lesser-known facts about Memorial Day, such as its origins as “Decoration Day” just after the Civil War.
“We try to do that component because we know that that they might only hold on to it for so long, but if we can get something to spark, or we can get them to engage about something in their past,” said Connections Program Director Anthony Saporito. “I think that’s the most important thing is letting them know that that we still care about them—that they still matter.”