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8 senior living communities that provide residents with memory care

Senior Living Design

8 senior living communities that provide residents with memory care

Memory care is a crucial benefit for residents of senior living communities as they age with dignity.

By Robert Cassidy, Executive Editor | January 10, 2023
Senior living facility bakery with customers
Watercrest in Sarasota, Fla., features a memory support bakery for its residents. Photo © Seamus Payne

Here are eight senior living communities that offer their residents memory care, an important service for residents who need this specialized service.


1. Anthology of Tuckahoe | Henrico, Va.

Interior lobby of senior living community Anthology at Tuckahoe
Anthology of Tuckahoe’s lobby bistro serves as a central hub from which other amenity “spokes”—a theater, a four seasons room, a café, and dining rooms—extend. Photo © BKV Group

CA Ventures put its stamp on personalized health and wellness—physical therapy sessions, walkable courtyards, craft and game rooms, a fitness center, a wellness spa/salon—for this 150-unit community 12 miles outside Richmond. BKV Group (architect, interior designer, SE, MEP, specifications, construction administrator, codes consultant) teamed with Kimley-Horn (CE, landscape architect), Clevenger (foodservice), and Brinkmann Constructors (GC) to deliver 56 independent living, 62 assisted, and 32 memory care residences.


2. Clarendale Clayton | Clayton, Mo.

Art studio at senior living community
The art studio is among the amenities at Clarendale Clayton: a bistro, a formal dining room, a 12th-floor signature room and terrace, a theater, and a wellness center with a salon, fitness center, physical therapy, and physician consultation. Photo © Matt Anderson Photography

Ryan Companies (developer/GC) and Life Care Services (operator) joined forces on this 13-story, 406,033-sf senior living environment—195 independent living, 66 assisted living, and 20 memory care units—eight miles west of St. Louis on the site of an old Schnucks grocery store. The project team, which included Ryan A+E (design architect), ACI Boland Architects (AOR), Oculus Inc. and RDG Planning and Design (interior designers), used lightweight cold-formed metal framing (prefabricated by Eisen Group) to save time.


3. River Tower | Norfolk, Va.

Interior lobby of senior living community River Tower
The 24-story River Tower links to an existing tower via a 100,000-sf amenities commons, more than doubling in size owner Harbor Edge’s hospitality-inspired senior community. Photo © Michael Lowry. Courtesy three

Architecture firm three was assisted by Clark Nexsen (AOR), StudioSIX5 (interior design), and W.M. Jordan (GC) for this $145 million, 527,770-sf addition to owner Harbor Edge’s Norfolk waterfront complex. Healthcare services via True LifeCare provide residents of the 147 apartments with assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing services, as needed. The amenities menu includes a spa, beauty salon, barber shop, card and game rooms, indoor pool, billiards parlor, golf simulator, art studio, and theater.


4. Sunrise at New Dorp | Staten Island, N.Y.

Senior living facility exterior on sunny day
Sunrise at New Dorp offers four rooftop patios where memory care patients can safely enjoy the outdoors. Photo © Visual Assets Management Solutions

This $32 million community serves more than 120 residents in 45 assisted living and 50 memory care residences. A salon, bistro, theater, lounge, dining room, and multi-use activity space are among the amenities. Moseley Architects (architect) managed the project team of Ehlert Bryan (SE), Bohler Engineering (CE), Greenman-Pedersen (MEP), PWC Companies (construction consultant), and KBE Building Corp. (GC) for Sunrise Senior Living (owner).


5. Vista West | Madison, Wis.

Interior lobby of senior living community Vista West
In response to the Covid pandemic, the Vista West team installed a needlepoint bipolar ionization system to improve air quality, enlarged the parcel room, switched to touchless faucets, and set aside a family quarantine visitation room at the front entrance. Photo © C&N Photography

AG Architecture designed this $46 million mix of 144 independent living studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments—some with kitchenettes—and 30 memory care units (36 beds) for owner-developer Capri Communities. A floating Residential Care Apartment Complexes license allows the independent living units to support assisted living healthcare services. Social programming includes hiking groups, PLATO discussions, casino nights, author talks, field trips to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, and a partnership with Trek bikes.

Bioswales, a natural prairie, and a sustainable roof retain stormwater runoff; the complex is projected to save $70,000/year in energy costs. On the team: Urban Assets (community engagement consultant), Direct Supply Aptura (interiors), Pierce Engineers (SE), D’Onofrio Kottke and Associates (CE, landscape design), and Stevens Construction (GC).


6. Kempton of Charleston | Charleston, S.C.

Skilled nursing room in modern senior living facility
One of 21 skilled nursing studios with companion rooms at Kempton of Charleston, which also has 50 assisted living studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments. Photo © Ellis Creek Photography

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture (architect), Fine Tuned Structures (SE), Forsberg Engineering & Surveying (CE), 4EA Building Science (envelope consultant), and Trident Construction Group (GC) designed and built this 92-unit, $27.9 million retirement community with resiliency foremost in mind. The five-story structure was built to keep operating despite hurricane-force winds. Resident rooms and dining areas are on upper floors in case of flooding. Hamilton Development was the developer; Liberty Senior Living is the owner. Also contributing: Hush Acoustics (acoustics consultant) and DesignWorks (landscape architect).

Kempton of Charleston has 50 assisted living studio and one- and two-bedroom apartments at, as well as 21 memory care studios with companion rooms and 21 skilled nursing studios with companion rooms. The property is less than a mile from the Medical University of South Carolina.


7. Wesley at Tehaleh | Bonney Lake, Wash.

Senior living home exterior Wesley at Tehaleh
Cuningham (architect, landscape architect) specified local plants for Wesley at Tehalah's gardens. Photo © Moris Moreno

A trail system unites the 400,000-sf Wesley at Tehaleh campus near Seattle, where owners Presbyterian Homes & Services and Wesley Homes Pierce County provide 168 independent living, 42 catered living, and 18 memory care residences, plus a 24,000-sf town center. Cuningham (architect, landscape architect) and partners Senior Lifestyle Design (interiors), AHBL (SE, CE), Steen Engineering (MEP), and Ryan Companies (GC) made wellness, building performance, and energy modeling key components of the project.


8. Watercrest | Sarasota, Fla.

Indoor streetscape in senior living facility Watercrest
An indoor streetscape unifies the "flexible households" for residents of Watercrest's 32 memory support units. Photo © Seamus Payne

A cooking exhibition is one of many aging-in-place activities shared by residents of the 72 active adult and 96 assisted living residences at Watercrest. Residents of the 32 memory support units occupy “flexible households” at each end of an indoor streetscape. United Properties and Watercrest Senior Living Group (owners) provided senior-friendly drawer dishwashers, raised wall ovens, lowered microwaves, drop-in cooktops, and pullout shelves.

HKS (architect) was joined by Interior Design Associates (interiors), TRC Worldwide Engineering (SE), Morris Engineering and Consulting (CE), Telios Engineering (MEP), Kurt R. Crist Landscape Architect, Keycom (low-voltage systems), Corsi Associates (foodservice), and Walker Construction (GC).

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