Senior Living Design

Using Design to Engage Residents & Improve Quality of Life

Clients Say

Thank you so much! it was a joy to work with you in planning for this beautiful facility and all the details. It still amazes me that most of this was done in a remote fashion. PRA was totally amazing!

Sister Deb Sciano
Provincial Leader
Trinity Woods

Always a pleasure to plan, design, and develop with PRA. They are in tune with the needs and philosophy of our organization.

Paul Fiscus
Maplewood of Sauk Prairie

The PRA Senior Living Design Studio collaborates with communities throughout the nation to provide engaging and supportive living environments for seniors.  Our design practice has evolved as the methods for providing senior care have evolved away from medical models to a continuum of care approach allowing residents to thrive in independent, active communities and transition to higher acuity areas as their needs change.  Today, we strive to create Senior Living Communities dedicated to the enrichment, safety, and prolonged life of seniors; places where families can be sure their loved ones will continue to live healthy, joyful, and meaningful lives.

We work with a variety of clients, from faith-based organizations to Veterans’ groups, from County Homes to private market-rate communities. Each of these faces a dizzying array of regulatory challenges, labor shortages, and resident needs and expectations.  In this environment, it is important that your design team has experience in the unique challenges of these environments, the tools available to uncover effective solutions, and a dedication to improving the quality of life in Senior Living Communities.


Our approach within the Senior Living Design Studio follows a five-step process summarized by the words, INVESTIGATE, INQUIRE, INNOVATE, ILLUSTRATE, and INFORM.  From the very beginning, our team leaders immerse themselves in your project, listening and learning to establish project goals and understand existing conditions.  We often partner with 3rd party operational and financial experts to evaluate challenges and identify opportunities. We value evidence-based data in all settings and challenge operational assumptions by evaluating practices with Six Sigma professionals to find areas of process improvement.  During the INQUIRE phase, needs are established through interviews, surveys, visioning sessions, and various other tools designed to understand the needs of your staff and residents.  The rest of our team is then engaged, including members of our award-winning interior design studio, to help lead discovery, ideation, and solution-making processes at each successive stage of the project to facilitate decision-making and create the three-dimensional form.  Each time we meet, we continue to peel away the veil, revealing new layers of the concept using state-of-the-art visualization tools, rapid proto-typing, and material samples to convey exactly what we are creating.

In the end, we might help you create a full continuum of care campus, or help you update or reposition an existing facility or campus, or we may design a state-of-the-art mixed-use intergenerational community with you, but we can also apply our experience to a myriad of other needs you may have, such as facility assessments, life safety plans, strategic planning, master planning, and furniture and art procurement.


Our team, led by dedicated senior living architects, is experienced with the various types of senior living environments designed to support the unique needs and preferences of older adults. Together, these environments offer a range of services, amenities, and care options to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle for seniors.

A common type of senior living environment is an independent living community. These communities are ideal for active and self-sufficient older adults who desire a maintenance-free lifestyle. Residents may live in private apartments or cottages, and engage in activities in shared social areas. These types of environments borrow amenities and aesthetics common in our Multifamily Design and Hospitality Design Studios including fitness centers, dining options, and local transportation services.

Assisted living facilities are another popular option for those seniors who may require some assistance with daily activities. Assisted living communities provide flexible support with tasks such as bathing, dressing, medication management, and meal preparation. Communities may offer private or semi-private accommodations, combined with social activities, dining services, and the reassuring presence of 24-hour staff.

Some seniors may be living with declining cognitive abilities. For them, we design special memory care communities to provide a safe and secure environment for residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other memory-related conditions. These living communities offer specialized programming, structured routines, and uniquely trained staff to ensure the well-being and engagement of residents.

Skilled nursing facilities offer comprehensive medical care and assistance for seniors with complex health conditions or those recovering from surgery or illness. These environments may include medical spaces and processes typically provided by our Healthcare Design Studio. Skilled nursing facilities provide 24/7 nursing care, rehabilitation services, and support with the activities of daily living.

Becoming more common are continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). These senior living communities are unique in that they offer a continuum of care services on one campus. Residents in a CCRC can transition between independent living, assisted living, and nursing care as their needs change, providing a sense of security and stability.

We design each of these types of care environments. Each supports residents with a unique set of characteristics, and so each results in distinct design solutions and collections of amenities, but they all share the common goal of promoting well-being, independence, and quality of life for older adults.


The Senior Living Design Team is led by Gregg Golden and Larry Schneider, two leaders in the industry with unsurpassed experiences.  They are both recognized throughout the nation as innovators dedicated to evolving environments for aging. Both are active in a variety of industry organizations including LeadingAge, SAGE, and EFA, and are frequently invited to present at conferences and publish their ideas or project briefs.  They are supported by an equally dedicated staff of experienced architects and interior designers.  We invite you to follow the links on this page to learn more about our experience helping transform Senior Living environments nationwide, or better yet, contact Gregg or Larry to learn more about what PRA can do for you!