Benefits of Living in Group Settings

Group housing for seniors can provide all the comforts and most of the independence of home, while still providing residents with the help that they need as well as a built in social network of their peers to keep them from becoming isolated and lonely. For many older adults, group settings are an excellent choice for retirement living, and there are several different setting options to accommodate those with a range of different care requirements.

Independent Living

This general term covers a range of senior group living arrangements from apartment complexes to condominiums to stand alone homes in a retirement community or village. This type of group setting is a great choice for older adults who need very little day to day care, but may appreciate a more accessible living space and help with outdoor maintenance tasks like mowing lawns or fixing drainpipes, etc. These places, often called retirement homes, senior villages, or senior apartments provide residents with a high degree of independence as well as a support network of caring individuals and friends all around. Often, they also include access to amenities like pools, tennis courts, playgrounds for grandchildren, restaurants, and organized entertainment or outings. They combine the best of both worlds for adults who wish to maintain their independent living style while still enjoying the social benefits of a lively community of their peers.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a group housing option that provides more support than an Independent living setting, but less than a nursing home. It can be a good option for older adults who need help with some of their daily activities, but do not need constant supervision or medical care. Assisted living facilities employ a trained and compassionate staff that are available to residents 24 hours a day. These facilities may consist of individual apartments with scaled down kitchens, simple bedrooms, or shared bedrooms. They also often have group dining areas onsite as well as common areas for social activities, both scheduled and extemporaneous. Assisted living facilities may arrange for entertainment to come to the facility or for those who wish to go see a play or other cultural event to go on a group outing. There is plenty of opportunity for as much or as little socialization as is desired in an assisted living facility.

Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are the group living setting that provide the highest level of care for older adults. A licensed physician supervises each residents care at these facilities, and trained nurses are available round the clock. These can be a good option for seniors who need a lot of medical care either temporarily, after a hospitalization or surgery, or permanently due to a chronic or gradually worsening illness. These types of facilities often provide entertainment for residents as well, and dining halls, though many residents are brought food in their individual rooms. They can be a bit less lively than the other types of group living due to the fact that many of the residents are undergoing medical care, but there is still an active social scene in most places.