Metamorphosis (meta = post or after and morphi = form): The action or process of changing form, shape or substance; the complete change in the appearance, circumstances, condition, character of a person, of affairs, etc.; the modification of an organ or structure in form or function; or simply radical, striking change. Why is so much attention being focused upon the elderly? One key to this question is the metamorphosis in numbers. There are now more older people than ever before in history. These numbers are greater, not only because of the unprecedented population increase in the past century, but because people are living longer. Thus, the proportion of older people in the population is rising. However, this is not the only reason for the attention. Another reason is the metamorphosis that occurs both within the aging population as well as between elderly individuals and their relationship to the environment that surrounds them. As people reach an advanced age, physical infirmities begin to place limitations on them that had not previously existed, thus requiring greater levels of care and support from the social and physical environment. This paper considers the more extreme end of the aging process - i.e., metamorphosis - by focusing on the intensive end of the care continuum - - in this case a long-term care facility for the elderly. Health, well-being and independence are three essential goals associated with long-term care programs for the elderly. In the vast majority of these programs, the emphasis is upon physical, psychological, or social factors that contribute to these goals. Only infrequently is the role of the built environment considered as a significant element in the individual's life, other than when it seems to hinder such goals. This paper examines the question of whether and how the built environment can be a positive factor in the metamorphosis of aging. The investigation compares the goals of the administrative staff and designer of a facility with the residents' actual responses to a newly finished building. It also compares residents' assessments of how well the newly built facility satisfies their needs as opposed to their assessments of the former building. It considers the steps taken in the preparation and pre-testing of the survey instrument designed for gathering user assessments of the built environment based on the social goals of the administrative staff. It discusses the difficulties of gathering data from an elderly population and how this affects sample size. However, the main thrust of the paper is the results of the pre- and post-move surveys, exploring resident's satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction with the two buildings. Finally, the paper examines the implications the research has for the design of other such facilities, as well as for the execution of future research regarding the built environment's role as a supportive factor in people's metamorphosis into that stage of human development we refer to as elderly.