A dedicated studio of Meyer

Taking Memory Care Design to the Next Level

April 8, 2022 Article

The Virginian Retirement Community in Fairfax unveils Virginia’s most-advanced memory care community as part of its multi-phased repositioning transformation.


The Meyer Senior Living Studio, along with The Virginian team of Focus Healthcare Partners, LCS and Allied Partners, wanted to create a fresh, long-term care approach and utilize new technologies designed as difference-makers for those living with dementia. Several weeks ago, the community opened the doors to the all-new Shenandoah Memory Care community, a senior living community specifically designed for residents dealing with dementia. This fully renovated wing at The Virginian incorporates high-tech equipment in a secure, specially-designed environment that will help deliver person-centered care. The staff at The Virginian wanted more than a secure environment with personalized care.  Meyer worked closely with The Virginian team to develop the state’s most advanced memory care wing as part of its multi-phased repositioning transformation. This project incorporates state-of-the-art equipment that was scientifically proven to improve function, increase the length of engagement, and enhance the well-being of the residents.

The Senior Living Studio incorporated the following innovative design features:


Nana Technology

  • Circadian Rhythm Lighting – With this technology the memory care wing can effectively regulate lighting throughout the wing or within individual sections, living areas or rooms. This technology provides light signals on wavelengths that mimic natural biorhythms in nature. This allows residents to experience peaceful days and restful nights, as it reduces sundowning effects (a state of confusion occurring in the late afternoon and spanning into the night) often experienced by individuals with Alzheimer’s or related cognitive impairments.
  • OBIE – This award-winning technology features unique hand motion activated games tailored by gerontologists, cognitive neuroscientists, and medical experts to create engaging and intellectually stimulating activities that are projected onto a tabletop or wall.
  • LifeBio – This platform can be used by residents and family members to create personalized biographies for each resident. This is accomplished through in-person interviews and an intuitive online portal. LifeBio has been shown to reduce loneliness while increasing social connectedness, feelings of happiness and overall well-being for senior living residents.


Wayfinding Design

  • The memory care wing is designed for residents to self-locate and self-direct while utilizing residential themed “neighborhoods”. These neighborhoods use repeating colors for entry doors, apartment walls, and bathroom décor. This incorporates an evidence-based process called “Spaced Retrieval”, and this design can promote self-esteem and reduce frustration often experienced by those who may otherwise feel spatially lost, require assistance or redirection.

Therapeutic Milieu

  • In addition to wayfinding, the interiors were designed to create calm, peaceful, and engaging spaces. Standout features include:
    • Abundant natural light, tactile artwork, tranquil fish tanks, life skill stations, contrasting dinnerware to maximize food and liquid intake, and personalized memory boxes next to each apartment entrance.
  • The Meyer team paid special attention to the design of three engagement areas:
    1. “Reminiscence Lounge” – a space for sharing memories.
    2. “Sensory Lounge” – where each sense can be stimulated (sight, sound, small, taste and touch).
    3. “Multi-Themed Outdoor Courtyard” – where residents can relax in a 1960s-themed courtyard. Seniors can also cross the street to enjoy a day in the park and enjoy the outdoors.

Secured Environment

  • The memory care wing is located on the first floor within a secured, accessed-controlled environment for both indoor and outdoor use. This state-of-the-art access management system provides residents the freedom of mobility while never compromising their safety or security.

The Meyer Senior Living Studio is proud to have worked with The Virginian on this cutting-edge memory care facility which will provide safety, security, comfort, and community for its residents. Meyer continues to employ the latest technology and design features to create the next generation of elevated senior living communities.

Leadership at The Virginian unveil and discuss the grand opening of the Memory Care Community – February 24, 2022.



Share This Article