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Congregate Housing

Updated on June 19, 2013

When aging in place or staying home, is no longer an option, but independence is still relatively possible with minimal assistance congregate housing may offer a solution. The most common form is an apartment complex of older adults that provides a certain level of support. Congregate housing is often the least expensive form of supported living for older adults, as the cost is typically subsidized by various government agencies and non profit organizations. This is an option to consider when a nursing home is too expensive or much more assistance than the elderly needs.

For the most part these complexes do not have individual kitchens and provide shared meals. Congregate housing does not offer 24 hour medical services and cannot help with ADLs or activities of daily living. Basic self care tasks such as eating, bathing toileting, walking, and dressing. Most congregate housing requires that residents be capable of independent living and not require continual medical care they cannot handle alone. Residents need to show no evidence of disruptive behavior, be able to make independent decisions, and be able to follow any specific service plan developed for them. If at some point the resident fails to meet any of the criteria they will have to move out.

This type of living arrangement is usually a family decision and is typically a response to a significant decline. Some examples may include forgetting to turn off the stove or trouble with shopping and meal preparation. Before considering congregate housing, make sure all other options such as assisted living and adult day care are not necessary as these may be expensive but highly necessary for those families who want the best care for their elders but cannot provide it themselves.


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    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

      Congregate housing, subsidized housing for seniors, even assisted-living housing are all excellent choices for the over-55 year old who needs additional support to live a healthy and independent life. Thank you for your article. More people need to know these options exist.

      Voted up and useful, interesting.

    • mea est opinio profile image

      Monica Zoe 5 years ago from California

      Congregate housing is very much a specialty and can only be found in certain states. The way they decide is unique to each state and housing facility. I am unhappy to report a lack of congregate housing in California. Massachusetts has a great website:

    • mjboomer profile image

      Mike Elzner 5 years ago from Oregon

      Thanks for the information Monica. Congragate housing is a choice for elders needing a bit of help. Do you know what the cost may be and how these types of living arrangements are created.....