13 – Accommodation for the Elderly

Fact sheet no. 13

“Accommodation for the Elderly” describes different forms and types of housing. The most important include:

  • Senior citizens’ home
  • Home care or assisted living
  • Community living
  • Out-patient assisted living communities
  • Nursing home

These types of living accommodation differ in the extent to which care is provided and the degree of independent living.

Senior citizens’ home

The senior citizens’ home is a home with apartments designated exclusively for the elderly with their location, facilities and structure offering conditions more or less suitable for elderly living.  The  apartments  are  furnished  quite  differently  in individual  homes.  In general,  no additional service is available. However, in some senior citizens’ homes social support and consultation by geriatric nurses is provided.

Despite their very different features, many senior citizens–™ homes have communal areas and elevators. Wheelchair access is possible only in some apartments. The condition for moving into a senior citizens’ home is mainly a subsidized rent certificate. In addition, the future tenants should be able to  run the household independently.

Service Living (see Information Sheet No. 14)

The term “service living” is not a clearly defined and protected term, and is also referred to as “living plus– or “assisted living.– The facilities and the range of services offered differ between service  homes.  Common  to  all  of  these  concepts  is  that  this  form  of  living  involves independent living in a separate, self-contained apartment with additional services offered.

The services can vary, ranging from emergency call systems, janitorial services, and cultural offers to contact persons or local nursing care support.

The services are either services paid for by all residents (basic services) or individual optional services (elective services) available at a fee; the charges for rent, basic services and elective services determine the actual cost. “Senior residences” are a special form of service living with beautifully furnished condominiums in a select price category.

Community Living

The term “communal living” comprises housing that aims to promote and develop living in a community. These facilities may differ both in size and in residential structure. There are housing communities, co-operatives, generational-mixed residential projects, and residential communities. In general, this form of housing is a project self-initiated by residents.

Outpatient assisted living communities (see Information Sheet No. 29 and 30)

Out-patient assisted living communities or residential care communities provide a special form of communal  living for people with physical,  psychological  or mental  impairments.  These residential communities are considered alternatives to nursing homes. Individuals with a high need for care and support live here, in particular older people with dementia whose care cannot be provided for in the home environment.

Nursing homes (see Information Sheet No. 11 and 12)

Nursing homes are residential facilities for people who can no longer be cared for in their own home or in other facilities. The residents receive comprehensive care in a nursing home and are receive care for all day. The homes have single or shared rooms. Some of the homes have a particular focus, such as for the care of people suffering from dementia or for coma patients. The condition for being admitted to a nursing home is that need for care and need for in-patient housing is recognized by the medical services of the Health Insurance.

Other forms of assisted living

Assisted  individual  living,  therapeutic  residential  communities,  transitional  residences  and crisis apartments  are designed for appropriate target groups; the age is not the decisive factor. The target groups are, for example, the mentally ill, drug addicts, homeless people and the  disabled.  Admission  to these  facilities  is not  readily possible.  A public  health  doctor (psychiatrist) must issue an expert evaluation for this target group of residents.