The Legacy: Evergreen Place

Decatur, IL

A unique research-backed take on memory care households

As one of the first affordable memory care supportive housing communities in Illinois, The Legacy at Evergreen Place functions as a beautiful testament to the wellness support that can be provided by thoughtful design and strategic artistry in senior living communities.

Thanks to a special pilot program administered by the State of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Supportive Living Program, this facility serves as a welcoming home and community for seniors with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. As a part of the larger 93-unit Evergreen Place Decatur supportive living community, The Legacy features two ten-unit households, with each individual studio space centered around the unique needs of those living with dementia.

Each household is scaled and designed to resemble and function much like a typical home, with a floor plan and finishes that help to create a hospitable feel. With special focus given to creating a sense of familiarity and connection, the project represents a real-world application of years of research regarding best care practices for people suffering from dementia, and has since served as a case study to inform future iterations of design for memory care. 

Communal kitchens, dining rooms, and living spaces encourage interaction among residents and engagement with activities of daily living, key factors that foster mental and physical wellbeing for residents. Communal spaces offer protected, four-season access to nature through both a secure courtyard and a winter garden, allowing for maximum independence while prioritizing safety.

Designed to enable a future expansion that will double its size, the facility also prioritizes staff wellness. Staff spaces were designed to enable the work of caregivers and create streamlined functionality, as well as to offer a stress-relieving staff respite area and easy connections with all working areas throughout the project. WJW is honored to have created a space designed to facilitate support both for those living with dementia and those who care for them.