Retirement Communities

7/21/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Congregate housing for seniors refers to an environment where older adults live in private apartments but share common spaces such as a dining room, kitchen, and various amenities with other residents. This housing approach aims to offer seniors an independent lifestyle while providing them with assistance with tasks such as cooking.

Although congregate living does not offer around-the-clock care, many facilities hire a housing coordinator or specialist to assist residents with their daily chores. Among a host of duties, the coordinator organizes emergency response services, ensures the facility’s security, makes repairs, and even settles disputes if they come up.

What are the eligibility requirements for congregate housing?

The criteria typically require residents to be at least 62 years old or disabled. They must be able to afford congregate care and need help with some of the activities of daily living. Congregate housing entails cooperation among residents, so anyone considering this arrangement should be capable of living within a group and interacting with others.

One of the duties of the congregate housing coordinators is to review applications to the facility and help determine if the applicant is suitable for group living. Those meeting the eligibility requirements generally have little trouble being accepted.

What are the benefits of congregate housing for seniors?

  • The most significant advantage of congregate housing is its affordability since many seniors in retirement struggle with living on a fixed income. It could be partially or fully subsidized by state governments, depending on the resident’s income level. The primary reason for establishing congregate housing plans is to support low-income older adults needing help with daily chores such as meal preparation and housekeeping.
  • Congregate housing for seniors is a way for older adults to live in a community that provides resources and support while holding on to their independence. Unlike some senior communities, congregate living encourages seniors to be self-reliant. While the apartments afford privacy, there are accessible resources for those who need them.
  • Another benefit is the safety that comes from living in proximity to others. If an emergency arises or someone needs routine assistance, there are always people around to provide help.
  • Seniors who are looking for companionship can stave off loneliness in a communal environment. Congregate living encourages teamwork and enables seniors to develop friendships, which can be challenging for older adults. With the many activities available, seniors stay engaged, spending more active time outdoors while potentially preventing illness and sustaining excellent mental health.
  • Congregate housing can also benefit families since busy families can become overwhelmed by caring for an elderly loved one; and many can’t afford an expensive senior care facility for them. Because congregate housing is an affordable option, families can choose it knowing their senior loved one lives in a beneficial environment. Also, family members can easily visit their aging family members and maintain close ties to them.

Are there downsides to congregate housing?

  • While congregate housing provides benefits for many seniors, it is not suitable for everyone. For instance, group living can be challenging for some people. They might not enjoy working as part of a team and could become frustrated with the social aspect of contributing to the well-being of the community.
  • Another downside could be the sparsity of medical assistance on site. Anyone thinking about congregate housing should consider whether their current and future health will allow for some independence. This arrangement can be challenging for those who develop health problems or need extra help with daily tasks.
  • Shifting into retirement and then into a new living arrangement can be too much for some seniors. They might need more privacy than congregate housing provides or can no longer deal with social interaction or changes. For them, at-home care may be a better alternative.

How can I find congregate housing near me?

Finding congregate housing for seniors can be difficult. Since they aren’t the most common type of senior living, you should call the local government housing office and let them send you in the right direction.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff