News & Resources

The Power of Adult Day!

Oct 23, 2023

Jay Burkhardt

Deborah, whose husband attends Circle Center, recently shared about Mark’s journey to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and to Circle Center. Deborah has kindly given us permission to share their story so that it may offer hope to others. 

Mark retired from the U.S. Department of Defense in 2013, poised to enjoy his newfound free time. He loved going to classes at the Lifelong Learning Institute in Chesterfield, Virginia, particularly the exercise-related classes. In and between Mark’s new retirement activities, his wife Deborah began noticing behaviors of Mark’s that were concerning.

In May 2020, Deborah insisted Mark be evaluated and he was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy — a rare form of Alzheimer’s — as well as hydrocephalus dementia. As COVID was becoming a reality, Mark continued to enjoy Lifelong Learning Institute classes online, and Deborah, a professor at Longwood, began juggling more and more. Things were getting challenging. Thankfully, in November 2021, Mark, an Air Force veteran, began to receive support through the Veterans Health Administration, including weekly in-home and respite care. These began to help Deborah and Mark with the stressors of their new normal.

In October 2022, thanks to word-of-mouth from friends at church, Deborah and Mark found Circle Center. Deborah will tell you that for both of them, it has been a game-changer.

Mark is able to get the physical, speech, and occupational therapies he needs on-site at our Center and has blossomed as an artist enjoying both structured and unstructured art time. He has also made friends. His home health nurse notes great improvement in Mark’s communication, his gait and visual spatial perception, and mood. And Deborah will profess that her stress level is much lower and she is able to focus on her work and other facets of her life. She also benefits from the family caregiver support groups offered at Circle Center.

Deborah says it use to be “one thing after another”, but now, thanks to Mark’s time at Circle Center, Mark and Deborah are able to enjoy life and each other once again.