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 Communities.


Our approach within the Senior Living Design Studio follows a five-step process, summarized by the following steps:

  • Investigate
  • Inquire
  • Innovate
  • Illustrate
  • Inform

Whether evaluating options for the design of independent living, updating memory care settings, or working with tenants on assisted living design options, we wish to at least touch on each phase of this approach as it allows us to use a proven methodology that focuses on client success.

Learning About each Client and Developing Solutions

We immerse ourselves in each project from the very beginning. Our goal is to listen closely so that we may understand the driving issues and create project goals.  We often partner with 3rd party operational and financial experts to evaluate challenges and identify possible changes.

Evidence-based data decision-making is a part of our DNA. We may challenge operational assumptions and use Six Sigma techniques to review decisions and find areas for process change. 

Client and project needs are established during the inquire phase. We use interviews, surveys, visioning sessions, and various other tools designed to understand the needs of your staff and residents.  The entirety of our senior living architects and our interior design studio become fully engaged now. They help lead discovery, finding nuggets of good ideas, and the solution-making processes at each stage of the project. They coach client decision-making and eventually create design images for client review.  We continue to peel away the veil at each meeting, revealing new layers of the concept. We use state-of-the-art visualization tools, rapid prototyping, and material samples to convey exactly what we are creating. And why.

In the end, we might help you create a full continuum of care campus. Or, we may 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. We are also experienced with facility assessments, life safety plans, strategic planning, master planning, and furniture and art procurement. Regardless of the project, we have the background to lead you to success.


Our team is led by dedicated senior living architects and planners. They are experienced with the various types of environments that support the unique needs and preferences of older adults. These environments offer a range of services, amenities, and care options to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle for seniors, regardless of their physical or cognitive condition.

Design of Independent Living Communities

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.

Design of Assisted Living Facilities

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

Design of Memory Care Facilities

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.

Design of Skilled Nursing Facilities

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 services typically provided by our Healthcare Design Studio. Skilled nursing facilities provide 24/7 nursing care, rehabilitation services, and support of the activities of daily living.

Design of Continuing Care Developments

Becoming more common are continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs). These senior living communities are unique in that they offer all care options on one campus. Residents in a CCRC can move between independent living, assisted living, and nursing care as their needs change. This built-in flexibility provides a sense of security and stability. To both the resident and their family.

We design each of these types of care environments. Each supports residents with a unique set of needs, and each has unique design solutions. Regardless, they all share the common goal of promoting well-being, independence, and high quality of life for older adults.


The Senior Living Design Team is led by Senior Living Architect Gregg Golden and our Planner 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. Each is frequently invited to present at conferences and publish their ideas or project briefs.  They are supported by an equally dedicated staff of experienced senior living architects and interior designers, that are well-versed in all project types from independent living design projects to the design of skilled nursing units. And everything in between.  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 how we may help you!