Belmont Village’s Circle Of Friends® Program Named Best Of The Best In Memory Care

June 17, 2016

HOUSTON–Belmont Village Senior Living's memory enrichment program, Circle of Friends® for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild to moderate dementia was recognized with the 2016 Best of the Best Memory Care Award at the Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference in Denver. Argentum, formerly the Assisted Living Federation of America, is the largest industry trade association for senior living companies. Its Best of the Best awards recognize initiatives that advance excellence in senior living.

"This year's nominations are a testament to the creativity, commitment, and care that is currently shaping our industry," said Argentum President and CEO James Balda. "These companies are truly setting new standards in the industry for their peers to embrace and emulate. We are proud to recognize their efforts."
Established at Belmont Village in 2007, Circle of Friends was developed to address the needs and abilities of residents with MCI and early stage memory loss. Under the leadership of nationally recognized gerontologist Beverly Sanborn, the Belmont team translated research findings into a first-of-its-kind, therapeutic program that supports a Whole Brain Fitness lifestyle, a combination of a wellness model with mental fitness. This innovative, unique approach focuses on brain health and promotes a higher level of cognitive, physical and social engagement, with the goal of slowing cognitive decline.

"Research shows apathy associated with dementia has been linked to accelerated decline in all physical and mental areas," said Beverly Sanborn, Belmont Village Vice President of Program Development. "Circle of Friends addresses apathy by creating an environment that encourages residents to actively participate in therapeutic activities that build cognitive reserve. Our family members have been very satisfied with the program and the positive impact it's made on their loved ones' lives."

Circle of Friends residents engage in small group activities seven days a week led by a dedicated and specially trained staff.  Groups are organized by ability and activities are personalized to create the "just right challenge" for each resident. The work-outs engage six domains of mental fitness – critical thinking, memory-body movement, learning, sequencing, long-term memory and problem solving. To maintain effectiveness and resident interest, the evidence-based program relies on regular evaluations, conducted in consultation with Vanderbilt University's Center for Quality Aging.

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