Reclaim Your Cognitive Function

With Help from Proactive Wellness Centers

Book Appointment

Office: 8229 Boone Blvd. Suite 280 Lake Barcroft, VA 22182 Hours Open Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM

Help Reverse Cognitive Decline with

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA

There's no way around it: Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease can be both scary and disheartening for patients and their loved ones. The cognitive impairment, memory loss, and eventual cognitive decline can seem like a grim prognosis. Unfortunately, the standard reductionist approach seeking to identify a single silver bullet cure doesn't account for the multifactorial nature of Alzheimer's disease.

That's why treating Alzheimer's disease requires a multifaceted response from functional medicine. While there is no single drug that can cure Alzheimer's, protocols addressing the nuanced factors contributing to the disease can make a difference. That's where Proactive Wellness Centers and Bredesen protocol treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA comes into play.

Service Areas

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

The Proactive Wellness Approach to Brain Health

At Proactive Wellness, we firmly believe that brain health is an essential part of your overall well-being. However, despite the emergence of new research, there has been limited understanding of how to promote brain health effectively. This includes reducing the risk of dementia/Alzheimer's and stabilizing cognitive decline in patients with early symptoms. Dr. Lawson, an esteemed Bredesen Protocol practitioner and ReCode 2.0 Certified with 17 years of experience in functional medicine can identify and address the root cause of cognitive decline in you or your loved one.

Dr. Lawson's goal isn't to replace the role of family physicians. Rather, we collaborate with primary care physicians, internists, and other medical professionals to provide a comprehensive approach to care. We believe that every individual is unique from a physiological perspective, and therefore, we avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, our programs focus on a customized approach, addressing risk factors that, if avoided or modified, could have beneficial effects for men and women who have dementia.

Our programs have a strong emphasis on slowing down and reversing the aging process, preventing diseases, and treating chronically ill patients. To achieve this, we employ a three-pronged approach:

  • We empower patients with the knowledge they need to manage their health and attain optimal well-being.
  • We prioritize disease prevention by conducting a thorough evaluation with the help of comprehensive diagnostics and the patient's health history form.
  • We collaborate with patients to implement a rejuvenation program that includes various science-based treatments, like our Brain Health Optimization Program (BHOP) for people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's

One of the most popular and effective programs we offer includes Bredesen protocol treatment in Lake Barcroft VA. This revolutionary approach to dementia has provided hope and improved cognitive function for countless people in the US. But to understand the importance of the Bredesen protocol, it's important that you first understand dementia, Alzheimer's, and its effect on people across the world.

The Wide-Reaching Effects of

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

There are currently more than 5.8 million individuals in the United States who are living with Alzheimer's disease. It is predicted that the number of individuals with Alzheimer's disease will more than double by 2050.

Dementia is a type of cognitive decline that affects mental abilities. There are many different causes and complex layers involved. Cognitive impairment is characterized by abnormal results on tests measuring memory, speech, critical thinking, and other cognitive abilities, but individuals with this diagnosis are still capable of performing daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Without proper treatment, Alzheimer's disease is likely to follow within a few years. Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent form of dementia, and it is diagnosed through neuro-imaging and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.

In the past, being diagnosed with Alzheimer's was often worse than receiving a death sentence. It was dehumanizing and stripped individuals of their memories, thinking abilities, and independence. However, after three decades of research, we now have a greater understanding of this devastating illness and even solutions like Bredesen protocol treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA that can help patients deal with dementia.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

What Causes Dementia?

Dementia is caused by a normal and healthy brain process that malfunctions due to a toxic environment, inflammation, and a lack of necessary nutrients and hormones. The brain's defense mechanism produces amyloid plaques, which serve as a protective helmet around the brain. Unfortunately, these plaques destroy connections between nerve cells, ultimately affecting comprehension, recollection, and clarity.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

Dementia by the Numbers

It's important to understand the impact of Alzheimer's disease (AD) around the world. According to the CDC, AD is present in 50% of patients in nursing homes and causes more than 110,000 deaths annually in the US. It was the 6th leading cause of death in 2015. More than 5 million people in the US are affected by AD, and recent data indicates that the problem is getting worse.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 47 million people around the world are currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to rise to 75 million by 2030 and 132 million by 2050. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.

While reading those statistics can be disheartening, there's reason to be hopeful. New therapies and treatments offered at Proactive Wellness - like Bredesen protocol treatment - can help patients deal with dementia and cognitive decline.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

The Power of

Bredesen Protocol Treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA

The Bredesen Protocol is a highly personalized treatment program that aims to reverse cognitive decline and improve brain function in patients. Dr. Bredesen has designed the protocol to be adaptable and customizable, tailored to the specific symptoms and needs of each patient.

The program is centered around lifestyle changes, medication, and nutritional adjustments, all of which are tailored to address the unique symptoms and environmental factors that may be contributing to cognitive decline. This approach, referred to as ReCODE, helps patients to combat brain fog and prevent the onset of dementia.

It has also helped patients improve cognitive function significantly, reverse symptoms, and even return to work. The ReCODE program comprises lifestyle interventions, therapeutic diets, and targeted nutrients. Proactive Wellness Centers is thrilled to offer this promising treatment modality for Alzheimer's disease to benefit our patients.

It all starts with a baseline Bredesen evaluation at our wellness clinic in Lake Barcroft, VA.

Baseline Bredesen Evaluation from

Proactive Wellness Centers

At Proactive Wellness Centers, we have two ways to help patients who are in search of Bredesen protocol treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA. The first option is our Baseline Bredesen Evaluation, which is best suited for asymptomatic patients - that is, individuals who do not exhibit any significant cognitive decline beyond what is expected with age. Dr. Bredesen classifies such patients as "PreCode."

This evaluation serves as a starting point for PreCode patients, as well as those who are unsure of their cognitive status and potential risk factors. Our baseline evaluation includes the following:

The first step involves conducting a comprehensive set of baseline labs to evaluate your overall health, closely following the Bredesen protocol. This step goes beyond standard labs that you might have for a physical. It includes tests for magnesium, zinc, and selenium levels, B6, B12, and folate levels, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid levels.

It also includes

  • Pre-Diabetes Evaluation
  • Hormone Level Evaluation
  • Thyroid Level Evaluation
  • Specific Immune Marker Evaluation such as TH1, TH2, IL6, and TNF.

Our goal with this assessment is to establish a starting point and compare your cognitive function against what is typical for your age group. We have chosen to use the CNS Vital Signs cognitive assessment, which is widely recognized as one of the best in the industry. Additionally, we will be conducting the standard MoCA test as part of the evaluation.

A DNA test is performed to identify the specific APOE genotype present in your DNA. APOE e4 has been shown to be associated with an increased chance of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which occurs after a person is 65 years old.

This step covers your lab results and includes a detailed plan of action to address areas of improvement as identified in your baseline evaluation.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

What are the Early Signs of

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?

As we grow older, it can be difficult to distinguish between normal changes in our cognitive abilities and the initial signs of dementia. The issue with preventing chronic illnesses is that we often believe we are healthy as long as we don't experience any symptoms, but this is not entirely accurate. Symptoms are typically the last indicator of a disease, meaning it has already progressed by the time they appear.

While it's always best to catch diseases before you notice symptoms, taking proactive measures at the first sign of cognitive changes can greatly impact the aging of your brain and body. It's crucial to act immediately if you're experiencing the following symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment. That way, ,you have a better chance of preventing the development of Alzheimer's.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

Roughly 10% of individuals with MCI progress to Alzheimer's annually.

Fortunately, Bredesen protocol treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA may provide you with a chance to delay or even reverse these symptoms

Memory Issues

Memory Issues

You have a hard time remembering events that happened recently, such as appointments or important conversations with loved ones. You may also have trouble remembering important information.

Language Issues

Language Issues

You have trouble finding relevant words when you're talking with other people. You may also have problems following along with complex or complicated discussions.

Maintaining Concentration

Difficulty Maintaining Concentration and Attention

You have noticed a reduced ability to focus and stay honed in on most tasks. You may also not be able to multitask effectively, and it may be harder to keep your attention for long periods of time.

Decline in Executive Functions

Decline in Executive Functions

This symptom involves difficulty with skills like decision-making, planning, problem-solving, and organizing. These difficulties are often most apparent in day-to-day activities.

Visuospatial Awareness

Problems with Visuospatial Awareness

You may have trouble parking your car, judging distances, reading maps, or completing tasks that necessitate spatial orientation.

Impaired Judgement

Impaired Judgement and Reasoning

This may include problems when making judgments or decisions. Examples may consist of difficulties making financial decisions, managing finances, making reasonable and appropriate social decisions, or thinking through risky situations.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment Lake Barcroft, VA

By contrast, some of the most common signs of normal aging can include the following

Experiencing temporary lapses in memory, where recently learned details like names or scheduled events may slip from one's mind but can be remembered later on

  • You occasionally make mistakes, but nothing that stands out as significant or unusual.
  • You have to ask for help putting together or setting up electronic devices or equipment.
  • You sometimes forget what day it is but have the ability to remember the correct date later on.
  • Your vision is getting worse, which is caused by cataracts.
  • You experience shortness of breath or get tired more often when being active.
  • You feel unusual aches and pains, especially during poor weather.
  • You get confused sometimes but don't have an inability to make decisions or multitask.
  • You have a hard time keeping your body temp regulated.
  • You get angry or frustrated when tasks aren't completed in certain ways.

Your Trusted Choice for Bredesen Protocol Treatment in Lake Barcroft, VA

Maintaining a healthy brain is crucial for one's overall well-being, yet there remains a lack of knowledge when it comes to promoting brain health, reducing the likelihood of dementia, or managing symptoms for those exhibiting early warning signs.

That's why we're excited to offer patients the ReCODE program at Proactive Wellness Centers. Developed by Doctor Bredesen, this treatment has shown remarkable success in improving cognitive function and even reversing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This comprehensive program includes lifestyle changes, dietary interventions, and specialized nutrients, and we are eager to provide this promising treatment option to patients like you.

If you or a loved one are starting to show concerning signs of cognitive decline, contact our office today to learn more about Bredesen protocol therapy. It could be your first step toward reversing mental decline and enjoying life to its fullest.

Latest News in Lake Barcroft, VA

JUST IN: Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for parts of Arlington

A strong storm is approaching Arlington from the west, prompting a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.Fueled by today’s heat and humidity, the storms are packing potentially damaging winds, torrential rain and lightning. The current warning covers most of Arlington County, except the northernmost portion, through 7:30 p.m.More from the National Weather Service:The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a * Severe Thunderstorm Warning for… The southeastern District of Columbia&he...

A strong storm is approaching Arlington from the west, prompting a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

Fueled by today’s heat and humidity, the storms are packing potentially damaging winds, torrential rain and lightning. The current warning covers most of Arlington County, except the northernmost portion, through 7:30 p.m.

More from the National Weather Service:

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for… The southeastern District of Columbia… West central Prince Georges County in central Maryland… Arlington County in northern Virginia… The City of Falls Church in northern Virginia… East central Fairfax County in northern Virginia… The City of Alexandria in northern Virginia…

* Until 730 PM EDT.

* At 653 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located over Lake Barcroft, or over Falls Church, moving east at 15 mph. HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail. SOURCE…Radar indicated. IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include…

Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Springfield, Fort Washington, Fort Hunt, Groveton, Falls Church, Huntington, Coral Hills, Pimmit Hills, National Harbor, Reagan National Airport, Crystal City, Nationals Park, Lincolnia, Franconia, Oxon Hill, Merrifield and Lake Barcroft. HAIL THREAT…RADAR INDICATED MAX HAIL SIZE…1.00 IN WIND THREAT…RADAR INDICATED MAX WIND GUST…60 MPH

Severe Thunderstorm Warning including Arlington VA, Alexandria VA and Reagan National Airport VA until 7:30 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/Xv2tj6JU7K

— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) July 27, 2023

6:50p: A ton of lightning with the storms west and NW of DC, especially in Fairfax County. Many of the strikes are occurring outside of where rain is reaching the ground. If you can hear thunder, you’re close enough to get struck by lightning. (image from WeatherBug Spark) pic.twitter.com/5zbHU2nt1L

— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) July 27, 2023

Neighbors’ boat dock battle resolved

A long simmering landowner dispute over the right to store boats at a private dock in a lakefront community has been resolved by the Supreme Court of Virginia.The owner of a waterfront lot granted an access easement to the owners of two adjacent parcels in exchange for their agreement to build a retaining wall. With permission, the adjacent owners docked their pontoon boat and smaller watercraft a...

A long simmering landowner dispute over the right to store boats at a private dock in a lakefront community has been resolved by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The owner of a waterfront lot granted an access easement to the owners of two adjacent parcels in exchange for their agreement to build a retaining wall. With permission, the adjacent owners docked their pontoon boat and smaller watercraft along the retaining wall.

Later owners brought that accommodation to a litigious halt.

In subsequent cases, the trial court rejected the adjacent owners’ bids for docking rights, finding that they failed to establish the requisite continuity and hostility for a prescriptive easement.

But the trial court’s ruling about docking the pontoon boat was wrong.

“Even if we assume that the original docking was permissive, the sale of the land vitiated the permission granted by the original owners,” Justice Stephen R. McCullough, said. “No evidence indicates any of the subsequent owners granted any kind of permission to dock a boat on their land.”

Finding that evidence supported the adjacent owner’s right to store their pontoon boat at the dock, the justices also reversed the trial court’s award of punitive damages to the dock owner.

The opinion is Horn, et al. v. Webb, et al. (VLW 023-6-004).

The easement

The Fidels owned Lot 612, a waterfront residential parcel in Lake Barcroft, a lakefront community in Fairfax County. In 1966, they granted a 20-foot wide access easement on their property to the owners of adjacent Lots 613 and 615 in exchange for their agreement to build a waterfront retaining wall along Lot 612.

The Fidels also allowed the adjacent owners to dock pontoon boats and smaller watercraft, such as canoes and skiffs, along the retaining wall. Over the next few decades, ownership of the three lots changed hands; the owners of Lots 613 and 615 kept docking their boats at Lot 612.

But when James and Hong Webb bought Lot 612 in 2017, they told their neighbors to move the boats. Atul Rustgi owned Lot 613, while Lot 615 was owned by Kevin and Meredith Horn. Both Rustgi and the Horns refused to move their boats, including a pontoon they jointly owned.

The lawsuits

In July 2019, Rustgi sued for a declaratory judgment that he had an easement to dock boats at Lot 612. The Fairfax Circuit Court sided with the Webbs and awarded damages for their trespass and nuisance counterclaims.

After his lawsuit sank, Rustgi sold his half interest in the pontoon boat to the Horns. Undeterred by Rustgi’s failure, the Horns continued to dock their boats at Lot 612 in spite of the Webbs’ renewed protests.

The Webbs filed suit against the Horns for trespass, nuisance and sought a declaratory judgment of their rights. The Horns’ countersued for prescriptive easement rights to dock their pontoon boat and smaller watercraft at Lot 612.

The Horns alleged that they had been storing smaller watercraft in the same spot along the retaining wall at Lot 612 continuously since they bought Lot 615 in 2005. A neighbor’s testimony supported their allegation.

A series of aerial photographs taken between 1972-2009 didn’t show the small watercraft docked at Lot 612 as the Horns or their neighbor described. The trial court again sided with the Webbs.

The trial court found the Horns liable for $11,550 in compensatory damages and awarded the Webbs $45,000 in punitive damages because the Horns’ persistence in claiming a prescriptive easement was inexcusable after Rustgi’s claims were defeated.

The Horns appealed.

Small watercraft

To establish a prescriptive easement, claimants must prove that their use of land was adverse, under a claim of right, exclusive, continuous, uninterrupted and with the knowledge and acquiescence of the owner of the land over which it passes, and that the use has continued for at least 20 years.

Here, McCullough said there was conflicting evidence about whether the Horns continuously docked their small watercraft at Lot 612 for 20 years. The justice pointed out that the trial court found the neighbor’s testimony equivocal and in conflict with aerial photographs.

Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party, he said the trial court correctly found that the Horns didn’t establish prescriptive easement rights to dock small watercraft at Lot 612.

Pontoon boat

McCullough said there was ample record evidence to support the trial court’s finding that the docking of a pontoon boat on Lot 612 was open, visible, continuous and unmolested since 1966.

The question, however, was whether the docking was hostile.

“A claimant ‘is in hostile possession if his possession is under a claim of right and adverse to the right of the true owner,’” McCullough explained, adding that the “claimant need not make a hostile intention express.”

Although permission to occupy the land negates hostility, the justice said open, visible and continuous use of land for 20 years entitles a claimant to a presumption of hostility.

“The burden is on the owner of the servient estate, in this instance, the Webbs, to rebut ‘this presumption by showing that the use was permissive, and not under claim of right,’” McCullough wrote.

The Horns were entitled to a hostility presumption because their evidence established that the docking of their boat was open, visible and continuous for 20 years. Conversely, the justice said the Webbs offered no evidence that they gave the Horns permission to dock their boat.

Assuming the existence of a boat docking agreement between the prior owners, McCullough said permission would have ended when the Fidels sold Lot 612.

The justice disagreed with the trial court’s holding that once permission is granted, it is presumed to continue indefinitely, even when the person who granted permission sells the land.

“Permission does not extend beyond the ownership of the person who granted permission,” McCullough wrote. “Therefore, a permissive use terminates when the owner who granted permission sells the property.”

Because the Webbs didn’t present evidence that successors in title to the Fidels gave permission for boat docking, the Horns established all necessary elements for a prescriptive easement from when the Fidels sold their land in 1976.

Further, McCullough said that evidence showing the prior owners were on friendly terms didn’t establish a permissive use.

“Failure to object is acquiescence,” he wrote. “Acquiescence is not the same as granting permission.”

Finding that the Horns established their right to a prescriptive easement to dock a boat on the Webbs’ lot, McCullough reversed the trial court’s holding.

Since the Horns weren’t parties to Rustgi’s failed lawsuit and the record didn’t support a finding of malice, the court reversed the punitive damages award.

‘Pipe up’

Arlington real estate attorney Aristotelis A. Chronis represented the Horns until they decided to go pro se two weeks before the writ panel argument in order to save costs. He was happy that the trial court allowed his clients to present their case, despite Rustgi’s outcome.

“Who’s to say what the prior owners talked about, so you could have zero knowledge of some permissive use,” Chronis cautioned, advising that an owner should “pipe up and say something rather than assume some use is permissive rather than hostile.”

He also stressed the importance of the court’s reversal on punitive damages awarded by the circuit court.

“If that ruling had remained intact, it would have a major chilling effect where people were just upholding their rights,” he said.

John Chapman ‘Chap’ Petersen of Fairfax, who represented the Webbs in both trials, told Virginia Lawyers Weekly he was shocked by the reversal. He balked at the high court’s ruling that hostile use tacked from one owner to the next, but not permissiveness.

“In both trials we had witnesses who were there when the lake was originally dredged and the retaining wall built who testified it was done with the consent of all the neighbors,” Peterson said. “They all had parties there, barbecues. It was use that started and continued with permission and as a result there was no adversity.”

Lake Barcroft cleans up after storm downs trees, power lines

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The cleanup continues in the Lake Barcroft area Friday morning after a strong storm Thursday brought down trees and power lines throughout the community. Photos: August thunderstorms roll through the DC area Here are some images of Thursday’s severe weather shared by listeners (and by some of WTOP’s own). “It’s about the strongest I’v...

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The cleanup continues in the Lake Barcroft area Friday morning after a strong storm Thursday brought down trees and power lines throughout the community.

Photos: August thunderstorms roll through the DC area

Here are some images of Thursday’s severe weather shared by listeners (and by some of WTOP’s own).

“It’s about the strongest I’ve seen since I have been here in 40 years,” resident George Erikson told WTOP. “It’s the first time I ever went into the basement to wait it out.”

Many streets in the neighborhood are still covered in tree shrapnel from broken branches. Some streets remain blocked by downed trees.

Tree-clearing crews are making their way through the neighborhood to get the trees cleared. They will be followed by utility crews to replace power lines and cables.

Erikson said there were four large trees that were down on his property, including several that blocked the cart path down to his dock on the lake.

He was up early Friday to meet with the tree removal team to clear out those felled trees.

“Called him while the storm was going on!” Erikson said.

The damage wasn’t nearly as bad for others.

Ken Leventhal was in D.C. at the time of the storm but came home to large branches down all over his property.

“I didn’t anticipate and I was ultimately surprised by the force that must have been here,” said Leventhal. “It didn’t hit any cars and it didn’t break the roof.”

He is clearing most of the debris himself.

“Probably doing the easiest first quarter of just picking up leaves and loose debris,” he said. “My son will probably be over on the weekend and maybe we’ll get a saw.”

Leventhal noted that several roads were closed when he tried to get home Thursday from all of the damage left behind by the storm.

But overall, he’s grateful that it wasn’t any worse.

“Gotta be thankful that nobody was hurt and, in the end, the damage was not that crazy.”

After Massive Lake Barcroft Sewage Spill, Fairfax County Fails To Warn Residents

WAMU/Michael PopeOver a six-week period last year, a series of massive infrastructure failures sent more than 300,000 gallons of raw sewage into Lake Barcroft, a private lake next to Bailey’s Crossroads near the border with Arlington and Alexandria. Neighbors who live on the lake say they knew there was a problem because they could smell it, although they say they never received official notice from Fairfax County.“The smell was overwhelming. You knew there was a problem,” says Sheila Wayman, a longtime reside...

WAMU/Michael Pope

Over a six-week period last year, a series of massive infrastructure failures sent more than 300,000 gallons of raw sewage into Lake Barcroft, a private lake next to Bailey’s Crossroads near the border with Arlington and Alexandria. Neighbors who live on the lake say they knew there was a problem because they could smell it, although they say they never received official notice from Fairfax County.

“The smell was overwhelming. You knew there was a problem,” says Sheila Wayman, a longtime resident of Lake Barcoft. “It was like a toilet overflowed and nobody took care of it on a hot summer day, and it was just bacteria and gassy smells and it was disgusting.”

The four spills into Lake Barcroft were part of a larger problem with the sewer lines in that area, which included six spills in 2013 and 2014. State regulators say the county dumped more than 600,000 gallons of sewage into Holmes Run, Lake Barcroft and an unnamed tributary of Hunting Creek. The Department of Environmental Quality hit Fairfax County with a $27,300 civil charge, a case that was closed late last month after county officials submitted a plan to fix the problem.

“There were people swimming in Lake Barcroft after it had been contaminated,” says Del. Kaye Kory (D-38). “There were pets drinking the water. There were people using the water to water their gardens. All these activities were going on, and every time a citizen touched or used the water they were being exposed to a danger and I know of a number of people who really became sick, became ill.”

Fairfax County officials say the infrastructure problem has now been solved. They say they were in the process of retrofitting old 1950s-era pipes when the spills happened. The temporary pipes they set up to handle the sewage were able to take the massive weather events that happened in 2013 and 2014, which led to the overflow. All that temporary equipment has now been removed because the permanent pipes have been improved and are now operating at full capacity.

“Since this event, we’ve worked out an arrangement where we notify the water improvement district as soon as the event occurs,” says Randy Bartlett, deputy director of the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

Created in 1973, the water improvement district is a Virginia government agency that acts as a special tax district to raise money for the purpose of maintaining the private lake. Although Fairfax County officials notified state regulators when the spills happened, they did not directly notify residents. Bartlett says the county has no plans to directly notify residents in the future.

“I’m not sure I have the means or method right now to make sure that I notify all the proper people and to identify who might be impacted by a sewer spill,” says Bartlett. “If there’s 40 a year, do I notify everybody in the county every time one occurs even though it may not be in their area?”

The politics of notification

The story of what happened in Lake Barcroft last year is a touchy subject in this part of Fairfax County, a community that includes about 1,000 homes. About 270 of those homes are directly on the lake. When the spill happened, the county posted several paper signs at gathering spots on the lake known as “beaches.” Bartlett says the signs were an effort to improve notification efforts.

“I think if you go back probably 10 or 15 years, we were probably not doing notification after we would have a sanitary sewer overflow,” says Bartlett. “We would notify the Department of Environmental Quality, but we would not be out there trying to put signs in all the different places.”

Neighbors say the signs did not accomplish the goal of notifying neighbors.

“The temporary signs that the county placed on the beaches were small and not sufficiently weather-proof and did not adequately alert the membership to the situation,” wrote Lake Barcroft Association President Jim Kilbourne in a letter to state regulators. “In particular, the signs placed at the beaches did not provide notice to the more than 270 homeowners with lakefront property who do not access the lake from the beaches.”

Several neighbors viewed the signs as an inadequate response to a serious problem.

“On at least one occasion, the county tacked a small paper sign to a single telephone pole warning the public of the water hazard,” wrote resident Kimberly Smith in a letter to state regulators. “It was a small sign, easily overlooked if one didn’t know to look for it … a bit of rain or dew would destroy the paper sign.”

What happens next?

Kory, the member of the House of Delegates who represents Lake Barcroft, says she believes Fairfax County dropped the ball. She says the county’s new policy of notifying the watershed improvement district is an insufficient response to the problem.

“I don’t agree with it,” says Kory. “I think it’s inadequate. I don’t think it’s in the public interest. It’s not what citizens expect.”

Kory says she’s already working on legislation for the upcoming session of the General Assembly.

“I think the state should require that those residents who would be adversely affected by a sewage spill need to be informed in a timely fashion,” says Kory. “I think that has to be part of our state code.”

Meanwhile, back at the lake, residents are concerned that the county’s aging infrastructure will be able to handle all the new growth and development planned for the area. Many say they are specifically concerned about a proposal to redevelop the strip malls and big box stores at Seven Corners, where developers want to construct as many as 6,000 new homes.

“I think that when it comes to infrastructure, whether it’s sewers or roads or whatever, I think we have a problem,” says Rita Babon, longtime resident of Lake Barcroft. “I hope they are going to be on top of it this time.”

[Music: “Lakehouse” by Guitar Tribute Players from Acoustic Tribute to Of Monsters and Men ]

Jake's Ice Cream Offers Valuable Work For People With Disabilities

Jake's Ice Cream's owner prepares to open a second business called Jake's Gourmet Popcorn, which will also employ people with disabilities.LAKE BARCROFT, VA — At Jake's Ice Cream in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center, Adam works as a greeter welcoming guests and informing them about the ice cream offerings. He also runs social media for the business and will take on additional social media tasks for Jake's Gourmet Popcorn in Seven Corners.Adam, like most employees of Jake's Ice Cream Shop, is a person with a disability....

Jake's Ice Cream's owner prepares to open a second business called Jake's Gourmet Popcorn, which will also employ people with disabilities.

LAKE BARCROFT, VA — At Jake's Ice Cream in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center, Adam works as a greeter welcoming guests and informing them about the ice cream offerings. He also runs social media for the business and will take on additional social media tasks for Jake's Gourmet Popcorn in Seven Corners.

Adam, like most employees of Jake's Ice Cream Shop, is a person with a disability. He is a spastic quadriplegic, which is a severe form of cerebral palsy. He does not have use of his arms and legs and has vision difficulties. To do social media posts for the ice cream parlor, he uses a voice-activated computer. That means he has to "talk the mouse across the screen so that he can get it in exactly the right spot."

When he has to learn new things, it can get frustrating. So he asked owner Robin Rinearson if he can give social media responsibilities for the upcoming popcorn shop to someone else.

But Rinearson didn't agree, encouraging Adam to keep instructions organized in an email folder and use them with text-to-voice translation. She has confidence in employees like Adam that they can and will get the job done.

That's why Rinearson doesn't believe the story of Jake's Ice Cream is about her, an optometrist who retired after she opened the ice cream shop. It's about the 25 employees, 21 of whom have disabilities.

Interested in local real estate?Subscribe to Patch's new newsletter to be the first to know about open houses, new listings and more.

"The reason for opening this ice cream parlor was to employ people with disabilities," Rinearson told Patch. "It's named Jake's after my nephew, Jake, who has cerebral palsy and who had a job for eight years before COVID hit. And when COVID came around, he and the 17 other people with disabilities that were working at his job were not accommodated."

That infuriated Rinearson, who has worked with the disability community as an optometrist.

When she decided to open a business to employ people like her nephew, Jake's Ice Cream was born in August 2021. Employees are trained to make the small batches of ice cream created on-site. The shop also runs occasional catering events, largely during the school year.

"The staff here all helps to make the ice cream," said Rinearson. "They scoop. They pack pints. They help make the ice cream cakes. They help decorate the ice cream cakes. They make the waffle cones. They make the cake pops, they make the decorated cookies, the dip pretzels, all of the confections that we do."

The ice cream parlor initially employed 11 people who were patients at Rinearson's practice before she retired in late 2021. Now the shop employs 25 people, and about half of the employees have individual job coaches to help them succeed in their work.

"For them, it's a job for life, unlike someone at a high school or college where they might be here for a summer or for a year," said Rinearson. "These are people that are looking for jobs, and when they get a job coach, they can't be hired for seasonal work. They only get a job coach if they're hired for year-round work."

Finding enough job coaching has been a pain point for Rinearson, who has expectations that employees can be trained to perform different tasks in the businesses. When a group coach serving nine employees was pulled in September, two employees who were too disabled to work without a group coach could no longer work there.

Another hurdle is the earning limits under the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Medicaid waiver. Before July 2021, Rinearson said there was a subminimum wage waiver that encouraged employers to hire people with disabilities. Employers could pay less than minimum wage and employ them for a certain amount of hours without going over the income that would make employees lose their benefits.

That changed in July 2021, and Virginia's wage increased to $9.50 per hour. It increased again to $11 per hour in 2022 and $12 per hour in 2023.

"For people that have income limits with disabilities, it's horrific because now they're working fewer hours," said Rinearson. "Their work is their social life. They have an identity around their job, and they have an identity with the social group that they work with. They have a sense of pride. They are able to live somewhat independently."

Rinearson has testified to the state legislature in support of increasing the income employees can make before losing their benefits.

Rinearson looks for ways to make the tasks easier for employees to understand and carry out. Nearly everything in the shop is color coded, so employees know which sizes to use rather than knowing the difference between 6 ounces and 12 ounces.

The business also works with Poolesville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland, where students create apps or devices to make it easier for employees with disabilities. The high school created a change-making app to help employees understand the number of coins and dollar bills to give a customer in change.

The Jake's Gourmet Popcorn opening in Seven Corners will have less complex work for employees who may not be able to perform the ice cream parlor duties, Rinearson says.

"There will be many more things that people can do that are not high functioning, putting labels on bags and labels on tins and filling popcorn bags," said Rinearson. "We still will have to be careful about food allergies and cross contamination, but it's a lot easier with a dry good than it is with stuff that's wet and frozen."

The new popcorn shop will be at Seven Corners Center next to Michaels. Rinearson was inspired by popular commercial popcorn makers in Chicago, where she went to graduate school.

Rinearson is aiming for the popcorn shop to open by the end of April. She is in the process of hiring employees, including two who she had let go from the ice cream shop. It will also include participants from Arlington Program for Employment Preparedness, which also bring in interns with job coaches to Jake's Ice Cream. Interns from that program have been hired as employees.

For both businesses, no job description is provided for prospective employees, as Rinearson tries to "meet people where they're at."

"This is a phenomenal group of employees," she said. "It's a long, slow, steep, slow learning curve to teach them how to do things. I think it's worth the price of training to put people to work."

When Rinearson sees discussions among ice cream parlor owners that they're having trouble finding employees, she has one piece of advice.

"Hire somebody with a disability," she said. "Train them in the wintertime before you get ready to open. Hire them. They will be model employees."

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.