Teresa’s House is readying to open the first of its three houses in its assisted-living and memory care community in McKinney.

The senior living concept features three houses, each of which holds up to 16 residents. Two houses have been set aside for assisted living, and one is dedicated to memory care. The memory care house is slated to open this month, and the assisted-living houses are set to open a few weeks later.

Having three houses together in a cul-de-sac setting provides enough residents to support the medical facet of the community but ensures that everybody’s experience is that of a small setting, said Godwin Dixon, developer and co-owner of Teresa’s House.

“We’re going to be the place that does it right because we’re going to personally be running it,” Dixon said. “Teresa is going to be actually on the site around here. ... It’s going to be very hands-on.”

The community is named after Dixon’s business partner, Teresa Whittington, a registered nurse who created the concept for Teresa’s House. Together with Dixon, the two have a combined 62 years of experience in senior care leadership.

The community could not be opening at a better time, Dixon said. He and Whittington had seen viruses, such as the flu, come through senior care facilities in the past, so Teresa’s House was designed with the health and safety of its residents in mind.

Teresa’s House features design elements, such as UV lighting, sealing doors, an individualized HVAC system for each room, and other air quality control features, to protect residents, Dixon said. Each house limits access to the community through one front door, allowing for full screening of guests. In addition, all staff members are degreed, licensed or certified by the state, and personalized protective equipment is provided for each resident.

While Teresa’s House was originally designed to keep out and manage cold and flu cases, its features are also useful in keeping the new coronavirus at bay, Dixon said.

“We are in such better shape to keep the virus out of these homes,” Dixon said. “For starters, we’re small—12 to 16 residents. ... And [our staff] is much more understanding of taking precautions outside of work.”

In addition to safety, Teresa’s Houses are designed to replicate a home someone would live in. Residents and visitors walk into an open kitchen and living room concept, with a den, a sun room, an outdoor walking area and bedrooms on the perimeter of the house.

“I could not be more impressed with the design and safeguards built into Teresa’s House,” said Fred Worley, retired lead architect with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, in a news release. “The level of protections built into this community are unprecedented in senior care.”

Teresa's House

6521 Collin McKinney Parkway, McKinney