As part of a $60 million renovation of The Virginian in Fairfax, Va., owner Focus Healthcare Partners (Chicago) wanted to redesign the community’s former Shenandoah memory care neighborhood.

The goal in developing the new Shenandoah Memory Care at The Virginian was to elevate memory care design through evidence-based practices and new technologies to create a next generation, “high-touch/high-tech” model.

The project team included: Moseley Architects (architect; Richmond, Va.), Meyer Design (interior designer; Ardmore, Pa.), Allied Partners (construction manager; Bend, Ore.), Carle Consulting (memory care designer; Oak Hill, Va.), and Life Care Services (management company/operator; Des Moines, Iowa).

It increased occupancy to 36 units and expanded from one to two conjoining wings, totaling 20,000 square feet.

The design includes three unique engagement areas: a reminiscence lounge, interactive sensory lounge, and dual-themed “backyard/park” courtyard, shared by residents, visitors, and staff.

Each wing includes living room, dining, and activity areas. The wayfinding and therapeutic design allows residents to self-locate and self-direct through themed neighborhoods, recognizable landmarks, curved corners at intersections, signature memory boxes, and matching contrasting walls within the living and bathing areas of apartments.

Warm colors including orange and yellow, open-concept design, interactive wall art, as well as live fish complete the therapeutic milieu.

In addition, the program is among the first memory care environments in the nation to utilize both circadian rhythm lighting throughout as well as a hand-motion gaming system, advancing applications of technology for residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementia.


Project details for Shenandoah Memory Care at The Virginian:

Facility name: Shenandoah Memory Care at The Virginia

Location: Fairfax, Va.

Completion date: February 2022

Owner: Focus Healthcare Partners

Total building area: 20,107 sq. ft. (Shenandoah Memory Care)

Total construction cost: $5.5 million (Shenandoah Memory Care)

Cost/sq. ft.: $274/sq. ft.

Architecture firm: Moseley Architects

Interior design: Meyer Design

General contractor: Elements of Hospitality

Engineering: Salas O’Brien

Builder: Allied Partners