The Difference between Group Homes and Aged Care Facilities?

Dec 17, 2020

Deciding which aged care option is right for you, your partner, your parent or your loved one, can be difficult – especially if you’re new to the world of aged care and not sure where to start.

There are a number of traditional aged care options to choose from – from in-house care, living with family, or a traditional aged care facility – but an increasing number of older Australians and their families are looking to a new concept in aged care.

Group Homes that specialise in aged care are incredibly popular internationally – offering a number of benefits over and above those provided by traditional aged care institutions and rest homes. Want to learn what makes them different? Read on…

Group Homes feel like home

Group Homes for aged care are not designed like care facilities – they’re homes first and foremost. The only difference between Group Homes and the houses they’re next door to is that they’re specifically designed to support the unique needs of people living beyond a diagnosis of dementia.

Unlike aged care homes and facilities, which can tend to feel institutional and impersonal given their large-scale structure, Group Homes are homes, and are designed to feel like home. Home means different things to different people, for some it might be smells of home, for others it might be a place from their childhood. Familiarity can be a place that looks familiar, has sounds that are familiar or familiar smells. This comfortable feeling of being at home becomes part of the therapy for someone living with dementia as it creates a sense of belonging and purpose. The small scale and intimate nature of Group Homes is designed to be welcoming, and put new residents at ease.

Group Homes are part of the community

Life changes can be difficult for people of any age – particularly the upheaval of moving house, and especially for elderly people who may have been living at the same residence for many years. One of the biggest benefits of a group home is that it helps ease the transition by creating inviting home environments, and allowing people to stay within their local community.
These aged care homes are positioned within the community, to enable residents to remain within the areas they know and love, remain close to family and friends, and visit familiar surrounding areas such as favourite cafes, shopping centres and sports clubs.

Group Homes encourage independence and autonomy

A loss of independence is one of the greatest worries many elderly people face when choosing and aged care provider. While the regimented and regulated nature of traditional aged care homes and institutions can reduce the autonomy of their residents, group homes actually encourage residents to remain independent, take ownership of their spaces, and take an active role in contributing to the household activities.
Group Homes environments offer 24/7 care, but the focus is on supporting residents to remain independent and capable, which positively contributes to overall wellbeing. There is a strong focus on the residents abilities rather than their disabilities, and the Homemakers encourage the residents to continue to do what they love, and simply adapt these activities as their care needs change.

Group Homes are social

While many aged care facilities offer activities for residents, not every retiree or elderly person has an interest in macramé or old-timey sing-alongs. This new generation of elderly Australians is independent and young at heart, and has different expectations about what they want to do with their time after retirement.
Group Homes are designed to be a social hub, where likeminded residents can not only live with the support of specialist aged care, but also make new friends, enjoy social spaces with visiting family and friends, such as large entertainment and outdoors areas.

If we can assist with answering any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Resident Relations Manager for support on 1300 923 968 or email Group Homes Australia Home Support Office.   The Group Homes Australia (GHA) care model is firmly built on the belief that people living with dementia thrive in a home environment. GHA homes are ordinary homes, on ordinary suburban streets, where 6 to 10 residents live together. Residents have 24-hour care, provided by a team of staff that we call ‘Homemakers’.



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