By RJ Scarelli
MethuenLife Writer

When we think about providing care for our aging loved ones, we want only the best. Methuen Village, an assisted-living and memory-support community, is making sure they deliver on that promise.

On Dec. 15, the facility held a special flag-raising ceremony to commemorate receiving the Purple Flag for Dementia Care accreditation. This is a remarkable accomplishment as the award has rarely been received since it was first introduced in 2020.

“We’re only the fifth in Massachusetts to fly the flag and the 16th overall,” stated Chris Carter, president of the Purple Flag for Dementia Care.

The Purple Flag for Dementia Care is a collaboration between the institute for Senior Living Education (ISLE) and the Connecticut Assisted Living Association (CALA), but has since expanded outside of Connecticut. The program was developed to enhance the qualities of services provided to individuals living with memory loss in assisted-living communities, long-term care facilities, home-care agencies and other settings. It recognizes excellence and drives continuous improvement in the quality of services for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

As part of the evaluation process, Methuen Village had to demonstrate adherence to 60 best-practice standards and training outlined by Purple Flag.

“Purple Flag’s mission really hit home with us,” shared Terri Sullivan, Methuen Village’s director of community relations. “They aim to advocate for residents and families and recognize those organizations that go above and beyond, the ones that focus on staff training and education, aim to protect resident independence, and truly see residents for who they are and what they can still do. I so hope more communities in our area are encouraged to participate in Purple Flag’s process, because it means families will have better, higher-quality choices for their loved ones.”

When asked to reflect on what made her get involved in such a strenuous field to work in, Sullivan was open and forthcoming with how she felt: “You know, everyone can have a job. Sure, it can be incredibly difficult at times but it can also be extremely rewarding. Things tend to get harder as people get older and I love being there as another form of support for them. I really just enjoy what I do on a daily basis.”

When asked what this award meant to her, Sullivan mentioned how pivotal the employees have been in their success: “I think it’s a great way to celebrate our entire staff. Without their continuous involvement, none of this would be possible.”

The flag-raising event provided an opportunity for the community’s associates, residents, family members and local senior-care professionals to unify and celebrate the milestone. In attendance at the event to show their moral support for Methuen Village were Mayor Neil Perry and City Council Chairwoman Eunice Zeigler. The Purple Flag will remain flying at the main entrance as a symbol of excellence in memory care.

It takes a Village! Methuen Village Director of Community Relations Terri Sullivan (left) and Purple Flag for Dementia Care President Chris Carter hold the facility’s recently earned flag while surrounded by Methuen Village staffers.