If you’re considering a more supportive lifestyle for yourself or for a loved one, such as group homes, or communities with assisted living, you have most likely done some research. Having the facts about each is important. Just as important is asking yourself which choice would best fit you, or a loved one. Here are some tips.
Deciding About Group Homes: 5 Tips
1. Smaller or more room?
What kind of ambiance appeals most to you: smaller and more intimate, or larger with more opportunities? Knowing what makes you comfortable is very important. Group homes appeal most to those older adults who like the idea of living in a smaller, homestyle setting within a residential neighborhood. They like the idea of only about 5 to 10 fellow residents as neighbors, with familiar common areas such as a small den/living room, a kitchen, maybe an outdoor patio, and short hallways.
Others would feel cramped in the atmosphere of group homes. They would instead thrive in an assisted living community setting where there is an atmosphere of activity and vitality, with more neighbors and staff members there for company, as well as desired amenities such as a fitness center, library, game rooms, theater, walking paths, multiple dining areas and more. In a senior living community, you can be as active as you choose, and still enjoy your privacy.
2. Will you get the personalized attention you need?
By design, residents of group homes should receive more one-on-one attention, simply because there are only a few of them compared to a larger community. However, fewer staff can be a negative in situations where staff need to cover for one another or assist each other. As you tour group homes, pay attention to how much interaction is going on. Does there seem to be a good relationship between the resident and staff? Do residents appear to be well-groomed and comfortable?
Also notice how many residents are engaging with one another and with staff versus spending time alone in their room. Socializing is vital for the health of seniors. For some in group homes, being able to be around the same people each day is relaxing, while for others, it can limit their opportunities to make new friends and expand their world.
3. Would you be satisfied with your residence?
From the outside, group homes look just like a regular residential house. That means that inside, there’s only a few rooms available, so your bedroom might be private, or you might have to share it with a roommate. That leaves a limited amount of space to call yours. You’ll want to tour group homes to get an idea of how satisfied you or a loved one would be with the accommodations and limited personal space, versus most likely having an apartment with multiple rooms in an assisted living community.
4. Is there enough to keep you occupied?
One of the perks of moving to assisted living is knowing all the activities, events and amenities waiting for you in the community. Each day you have your choice of everything from arts and crafts to classes and concerts to movies and more. In group homes, the pace is much slower. Scheduled activities are few and you don’t have daily access to a library, fitness area, pool, theater and more.
It is true that family and friends can help fill your calendar, but it’s important to understand group homes offer a simpler, more quiet way of life. It can be just right for some. You just need to decide if it fits you.
5. Can you see yourself living there?
Many times throughout life you’ve probably been told, “you’ll know it’s right when you see it.” We’d like to change that a bit and say, “you’ll know it’s right when you feel it.” Take the time to visit every senior living option you are considering, ask the questions, do the research, read the materials. But most of all: see how it feels. Do you get a sense of home? Can you see yourself spending afternoons there? Dining in this environment? Would it give you a sense of comfort and security, or would you feel as though you were missing out on something?
And remember, if you just can’t decide, then visit other group homes, as well as senior living communities. The right choice is out there.
At Heritage Communities, every day is yours to enjoy however you like. In each of our communities, you’ll discover a home and lifestyle that lets you define living better on your terms. Download our free guide, The Complete Guide to Choosing Between Senior Living Options. Or contact us today.