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Through the Years

In 1984, a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, Lin Noyes Simon RN, PhD, founded Insight Memory Care Center (the Family Respite Center at the time). While leading a caregiver support group, Lin realized the lack of community resources and support available for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. She decided to act.

At the time it was highly innovative to start an Alzheimer’s specific adult day center. The adult day center concept wasn’t brand new, but dementia specialization was. Over the first year of operation, we quickly offered day center services five full days a week. No one was turned away who needed care for a loved one, even when he or she couldn’t pay. Lin was motivated by her passion, knowledge and supportive friends and community. People volunteered their time, helped spread the word and made donations to keep the lights on and staff paid.

From 1988 to 1992, Insight took part in the Dementia Care and Respite Services Program, one of only seventeen national grantees. DCRSP was a four year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. It was the first national demonstration project to focus on day center and respite services for persons with dementia. The lessons learned from this program were used to form the Partners in Caregiving: The Dementia Services Program publication, disseminating lessons learned to adult day centers across the United States.

Insight’s second location, in a church in Falls Church, provided the home for the center for over twelve years. The programs were held in two rooms of the church, with a few offices for staff. This was a better location than the previous but still had its challenges. The rooms were not secure, the bathroom facilities were shared and the rooms that they used were used by others in the church, which meant that all program supplies had to be cleaned up and put away nightly.

In 2004, we moved from our church basement location to a dedicated facility in Fairfax, Virginia. This location provided a safe, secure, and therapeutic environment for those affected by memory impairment. It also provided additional space for support group meetings and education classes. Insight was named one of the best small charities in the Washington Region by the Catalogue for Philanthropy for the first time in 2006, an honor we have continued to receive every four years. In 2013, Insight was honored to be recognized as the Adult Day Center of the Year from the National Adult Day Services Association, a national award given to one outstanding and innovative center, recognized as “best practice.”

In January 2015, we relocated our center to a property in Fair Oaks on Pender Drive. The new center provides 15,000 square feet of space compared to our previous 5,000 square feet, allowing us to expand all of our services. The larger facility has allowed us to start several new programs since, including a Memory Cafe that meets twice a month and offering the SHARE program for families with a recent diagnosis to plan for future care. Most recently we have partnered with Encore Creativity for Older Adults to offer the Sentimental Journey Singers choral program.

In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Insight quickly began offering almost all of our programs virtually to keep participants and families connected. Insight was able to safely re-open our doors in June 2020, and remained the only adult day center open in our area for over a year. Virtual programs have continued ever since to keep families connected both near and far!

In January 2022, Insight Memory Care Center celebrated a milestone event with the opening of its second location, an Early Stage Center in Sterling, Virginia. The organization has grown significantly since caring for the first three participants in the basement of a church, and this new center in Sterling represents the first time programs have expanded beyond partnerships and shared spaces to a dedicated, second center.

  • 1984

    The Family Respite Center was established by Lin Noyes Simon with three participants.

  • 1989

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation helped us expand the Home Companion Program and the capacity of the center.

  • 1994

    The Center became a Licensed Adult Day Care Center, the first in Northern Virginia to specialize in dementia care.

  • 1998

    The Arlington Health Foundation helped us expand the late-stage program and serve more people in need of this care.

  • 1998

    Added early stage programming, serving an unmet need in the Northern Virginia area.

  • 2001

    The organization adopted the name “Alzheimer’s Family Day Center” to better clarify what we do.

  • 2004

    The Center doubled its space at a new location specifically designed for people with an Alzheimer’s type illness.

  • 2006

    Named one of the “best small charities” by the Catalogue for Philanthropy; we were also selected in 2010 and 2014.

  • 2007

    We added a Recreational Therapist, an Occupational Therapist and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner to our staff.

  • 2011

    The center received funds to hire a certified art therapist to work weekly with the adult day center participants.

  • 2012

    Added the Music & Memory program as well as a Multi-Sensory environment to the Day Center.

  • 2013

    IMCC was honored to be recognized as Adult Day Center of the Year from the national Adult Day Services Association.

  • 2014

    We became Insight to best reflect the diversity of memory impairments we care for and the variety of programs we offer.

  • 2015

    In January 2015 we relocated to a new center providing 15,000 square feet, allowing us to expand all our services.

  • 2015

    We launched our first Caregiver Cruise, allowing families to vacation in a safe and supportive environment.

  • 2016

    The Memory Cafe was added for families to meet with others for support, companionship, and fun.

  • 2016

    Insight began a process of incorporating more person-centered care best practices into the day center.

  • 2017

    After participating in the pilot program, Insight became one of the first in the country to offer the SHARE program.

  • 2019

    Partnered with Encore Creativity for Older Adults to offer the first local chorus for those diagnosed with memory impairment.

  • 2020

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Insight began offering virtual programs in March 2020 for participants to stay connected.

  • 2022

    Opened an Early Stage Center in Sterling, the first time programs have expanded to a dedicated, second center.

Our Story

"I believe the person with Dementia thrives in this environment. What amazes me when I am at the center, whether it be morning or end of day, is the pleasant, kind and friendly atmosphere of both the staff and the residents. It is a culture of caring and respect."