Shelton home renovated into assisted living residence for seniors needing memory care

SHELTON — Deirdre Virvo, a longtime real estate investor, used her business acumen to bring to life what she called a more personalized option for those people in need of assisted living and memory care.

Just Like Home’s Dogwood Home — what Virvo terms a “unique boutique” senior living home — officially opened its doors Sept. 11, highlighted by a celebration featuring the Chamber of Commerce and a ribbon cutting by Mayor Mark Lauretti.

“This really speaks to my heart,” Virvo, senior specialist and author of “Home To Home, The Step By Step Senior Housing Guide,” said of the grand opening. “It’s exciting for me.”

Virvo, founder and managing member of CT Property Network and SoCT Real Estate Investor Association, spent the morning of Sept. 11 offering tours of the home and property.

The walk through, Virvo said, highlighted how the home is “custom-designed to accommodate seniors,” including a keypad entry system, a fire suppression and fire sprinkler system and a full house generator. Some 21 security cameras are in place throughout the home.

Each bedroom also includes personal monitors and bed monitors, Virvo said. The caregiver ratio to seniors is 1 to 3.

“Homemade meals, farm to table, and activities such as art, pet and music therapy will be provided to residents,” she said.

Just Like Home’s Dogwood Home, 68 Dogwood Drive, and will house six seniors of any age that need assisted living or memory care assistance, she said. The ranch-style home has extra-wide hallways, large bathrooms with zero-entry showers, fully furnished bedrooms with adjustable full beds and cable TV in every room.

Virvo, who has watched as family members suffered through memory care issues, some in the more “hotel-style” operations commonplace in Shelton, said she wanted a true home for a smaller number of individuals requiring specialized care.

Virvo’s quest to create such an operation brought her to the Dogwood Drive property. She renovated the 3,200-square-foot, one-level ranch-style home to allow residents to feel like that they are in their own home, Virvo said, with a private backyard with plans for numerous activities, various therapies and get-togethers to bring that “home-like feel.”

Virvo said she hopes the project is the start for more small, more personalized, home-style memory care operations, which have become more prevalent in Texas, Florida, Oregon and Arizona. She said there are 47,000 in the country, but few if any in New England.

For more information on Just Like Home’s Dogwood Home, visit