Shelton’s ‘unique boutique’ senior living home coming to Long Hill Avenue

Deirdre Virvo in front of her latest property at 757 Long Hill Ave., which she plans to turn into a “unique boutique” senior living home identical to the one she opened at 62 Dogwood Lane in 2020.

Deirdre Virvo in front of her latest property at 757 Long Hill Ave., which she plans to turn into a “unique boutique” senior living home identical to the one she opened at 62 Dogwood Lane in 2020.

Brian Gioiele / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — Deirdre Virvo's vision of a personalized option for those people in need of assisted living and memory care came to life two years ago — and its success has her expanding her operation.

Virvo opened Just Like Home’s Dogwood Home — what she terms a “unique boutique” senior living home at 62 Dogwood Lane — in 2020. The home has been filled ever since, with a waiting list, which prompted her to buy another home on Long Hill Avenue.

“With the interest in the first home, I really felt I needed to expand,” said Virvo, a long-time real estate investor, senior specialist and author of “Home to Home, The Step by Step Senior Housing Guide.”

“I really help more seniors,” she added. “My goal is to have five of these homes in Shelton.”

Virvo, founder and managing member of CT Property Network and SoCT Real Estate Investor Association, said Shelton is ideal because zoning regulations allow for six people in a home, more than other Fairfield County communities which allow only three or four.

“It makes the most economic sense and it allows us to help more people,” Virvo said.

Renovations are underway at the home at 757 Long Hill Ave., which will be a replica business model of Dogwood Home with an anticipated opening in November 2022.

Virvo said renovations will include gutting the interior and two-car garage to create eight bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. A large addition will also be built on the rear of the present structure for additional den space.

Everything will happen on one floor, according to Virvo, just like the present home on Dogwood Lane.

Just Like Home’s Dogwood Home is a 3,300-square-foot ranch-style custom designed home which houses six seniors who require assisted living or memory care assistance. The home has a staff of two around-the-clock caregivers.

Residents are provided with homemade meals and activities such as pianists, guitarists, chair yoga and strength training.

Virvo, who has watched as family members suffered through memory care issues, said she wanted a true home for a smaller number of individuals requiring specialized care, rather than the more common “hotel style” facilities.

Virvo said the present home has extra-wide hallways, large bathrooms with zero-entry showers, fully furnished bedrooms with adjustable full-size beds and cable TV in every room.

“Everything is family style, in a small, intimate setting along with daily activities such as art, pet therapy, lots of live music and exercise programs,” Virvo said. “It’s just like home.”

All meals, cleaning, entertainment and care are furnished by a licensed healthcare agency with staff who specialize in memory care. And Virvo said her goal is to create and open more facilities like Dogwood Home throughout Fairfield County.

For more information, visit https://www.justlikehomellc.com/

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com