To accommodate the changing needs of new seniors, a six-acre continuum of care retirement community undertook a two-part project to expand and update a forty-year-old central facility and convert an existing assisted living building to memory care.

According to the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 480,000 people in California with the disease. That figure is 9 percent higher than a decade ago and is expected to jump to 660,000 by 2025. Lincoln Glen Manor, a not-for-profit organization, sought to meet this growing demand by updating its facilities for today’s seniors.

Central Facility

A 5,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of common spaces and administrative offices better serves residents’ frailty and diversity and maximizes their ability to interact socially. The dining room and chapel are enlarged to accommodate mobility aids such as walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters. Site improvements add gardening space, a tot play area, and visitor parking.

A kitchen renovation allows more diverse food preparation and food service styles. The renovation opens up the kitchen with a large glass viewing wall for residents’ entertainment and observation. Seismic and fire safety improvements, the addition of lobby and reception areas, and an improved identity for the center add to the overall success of the central facility renovation.

Memory Care

In this phased conversion, an existing nineteen-unit building is converted to memory care living for 30 residents. Our design team created a floor plan that encourages independence and the familiar routines of home, facilitating a smooth phase transition from independence to memory care. Central shared areas are easily visible without long hallways or multiple turns. The floor plan offers easy access to a new dining area, activity room, and sunroom. Recognizing how we all benefit from exposure to nature, a “wander garden” visible from the staff station provides a safe, sensory-rich outdoor space.


Memory care units feature flexible floor plans for singles, couples, and shared living. Each unit offers options for shared and independent toileting and bathing. Shared units provide visual cueing to help residents find the toilet without disturbing an adjacent sleeping resident.


Memory Care Flex Units allow two important advantages: a companion suite setting (two residents sharing a room), which some believe to offer better therapeutic care, and private rooms, which some prefer for the same reason. In addition to responding to these two care delivery philosophies, one-bedroom suites can be made available. These one-bedroom memory care units are a relatively new development and are primarily a response to the desires of adult children of prospective residents. The Flex Unit design creates a universal design that maximizes occupancy through quicker rent-up periods and creates variable revenue models within one building structure.