The Small House Model of Assisted Living Explained

Community Life, Resources

You may have come across the term “small house model” on your search for Assisted Living for your loved one. It’s a forward-thinking approach to caregiving and enhancing the wellbeing of older adults, yet many communities have failed to commit the time and resources necessary to evolve from the traditional, more institutionalized model of Assisted Living to the small house plan.

The Woodlands Inn at Edgewood is among the few communities to embrace this newer model of senior care, and we’ve seen the difference it’s made for members of our community.

A More Personal Approach to Caregiving

First and foremost, the small house model, sometimes referred to as the social model, ensures Assisted Living communities have a homey feel by limiting the number of residents in each “small home.” Research suggests that keeping the number of residents in each small house to no more than 25 is vital for creating a setting that feels less like a nursing home and more like a family environment.

With these guidelines in mind, each of The Woodlands Inn’s small houses is designed with 10 residences centered around a family room and kitchen area. With four small houses in total, The Woodlands Inn offers private accommodations for 40 residents. Just like with the traditional Assisted Living model, care is of the utmost priority in a small house setting.

Living in smaller clusters means residents are able to receive more one-to-one personal care time from caregivers (known as Innkeepers at The Woodlands Inn) who tend to small houses in teams of two. During one-to-one time, the Innkeepers get to know the residents on a more personal level than at a traditional community and can adapt their personalized care plans based on their preferences.

Small Homes, Big Connections

Just as important as care in the small house model are interpersonal connections and engagement. The Woodlands Inn’s design provides a low-pressure environment in which neighbors can get to know each other in their small houses. Residents join together in the common area for the morning gathering, enjoy meals with each other in their small house’s kitchen/dining space, play games and even get to know each other’s families. But residents aren’t limited to staying within their small houses. Each day, you’ll find members branching out into the community Great Room to catch up with their friends from other houses.

In fact, the scene in the Great Room is often described as a “small family party.” Anyone stepping into the Great Room or any other part of the community for the first time, might not believe it’s an Assisted Living Community. That’s because The Woodlands Inn doesn’t feel like Assisted Living. Its aesthetic is more reminiscent of a classic New England bed-and-breakfast, something that is sure to help with making the community feel more like “home.”

While the small house model doesn’t sacrifice care for connectivity, it does seek to shed some of the imagery that’s often associated with traditional Assisted Living. You won’t find any of the signposts associate with the medical model or the medical stations out in the hallway. And you’ll notice the Innkeepers wearing matching polos and slacks rather than scrubs. What we’ve found at The Woodlands Inn is that we’re able to provide our signature quality care by blending together the best aspects of traditional and modern Assisted Living.

Learn More About Edgewood and the Small House Model

If you’d like to learn more about how life at The Woodlands Inn provides enhanced care and connections for your loved one, call (978) 222-7747.