Retirement And Nursing Homes - Healthy Living And Living

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Retirement And Nursing Homes - Healthy Living And Living
Retirement And Nursing Homes - Healthy Living And Living
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Video: Rethinking Senior Living | Steve Shields | TEDxMHK 2023, February

Living in retirement and nursing homes

Older people often have special housing needs. You can therefore decide to move to a supervised facility. For some, the focus is on the desire for more security and convenience in everyday life. Or to live in an apartment that is tailored to the needs of senior citizens. For many older people it is also important to be able to use nursing services or medical care quickly. The decision to move is often not an easy one for those affected. It means giving up the familiar life at home and settling into a new environment. Which retirement, retirement or nursing home is the right one needs to be considered in good time. Because often you have to expect waiting times for a place in the right home. Advice centers help with the decision.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Retirement and nursing homes: the offers
  • Costs for old people's and nursing homes
  • Information and advice
  • Living under one roof
  • Health and well-being in the retirement home

In fact, many people only move into a home when they are old. Often even when living at home is no longer possible. Today there are various offers in Austria. They range from assisted, independent living in senior citizens' homes to living with care and support in inpatient facilities such as geriatric centers. Which house is suitable also depends on a person's actual need for care.

Some nursing homes also offer temporary inpatient stays. This may be necessary after a stay in hospital until it is possible for the senior citizen to live at home again. Or if the main caregiver is unable to attend, e.g. because of vacation, cure or illness.

Retirement and nursing homes: the offers

The offers for senior citizens in residential facilities include:

  • Retirement home or senior citizens' home: People who are capable of independent household and living can move into a one or two-room apartment with a bathroom and cooking facilities.
  • Nursing home (retirement home, retirement home): This offers people who can no longer look after themselves, food, room cleaning or nursing help in the event of low or short-term care needs. Retirement homes offer the option of assisted living.
  • Nursing home for the elderly (also known as a nursing home for the elderly, care center, geriatric center): This type of housing is designed for people who are dependent on constant household and nursing services. In addition, geriatric nursing hospitals offer comprehensive medical care for people with chronic diseases.

More and more homes for older people are offering living, assisted living and care under one roof, so that the residents do not have to change houses if their health deteriorates. The stay in these facilities is regulated by a home contract (or care contract) between residents and providers - these are cities and municipalities, charities and private companies or individuals.

Costs for old people's and nursing homes

The cost of accommodation in a nursing home or nursing home depends, among other things, on the need for care of the senior citizen. The respective regulations of the federal state also play a role in how the costs are covered.

Further information on questions about costs can be found at

Information and advice

You can find detailed information on accommodation in residential and nursing homes at and on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

You can search for old people's and nursing homes in your area at

The national quality certificate for retirement and nursing homes in Austria (NQZ) makes the services of retirement and nursing homes in Austria transparent and guarantees tested quality on a legal basis. You can search for houses with a certificate at

Information on residence, home contract and care can be found at

If you need personal advice, you can search for the competent bodies on the health websites of the federal states. Of course, you can also contact the respective nursing home directly.

Living under one roof

In retirement and nursing homes, social activity has become a kind of model. In addition to regular meals, room cleaning and care services, many facilities offer their residents and guests numerous activities from gymnastics to Nordic walking, bowling, handicrafts, garden design, making music, dancing or theater games to language courses, literary rounds or trips to senior citizens.

As in all facilities where people live and work together, stressful situations can sometimes arise in old people's and nursing homes that impair health and well-being. Predefined daily routines, meal times, food, noise from neighbors' televisions, conflicts with roommates or limited care time and "stress" of the staff can be perceived as personally stressful.

Health and well-being in the retirement home

The living and working conditions in old people's and retirement homes have a major impact on the health of the people who live there, work and come to visit: residents, relatives, employees or volunteers. Everyday areas of life such as living, eating or personal and social activities play an important role, but also the working conditions of the employees.

Living and working conditions can be improved through health promotion. The aim is to maintain or even further develop a person's existing personal strengths and skills with targeted support. Effective, successful health promotion projects follow proven principles and processes. The first step is to investigate what promotes and burdens the health of people in retirement homes.

For example, research by the "Health Has No Age" project showed

  • It is beneficial to the health of the residents that they like the staff, that they feel comfortable in the house or room and that the food tastes good.
  • It is stressful for the residents that they cannot move around properly, that they are hindered by pain and that staff changes too frequently.
  • The relatives are supported by the possibility to use the senior facilities, the pleasant atmosphere in the house and the proximity of the house to the family.
  • The relatives are burdened by additional costs for services, lack of social contacts of the residents and a lack of staff in the facility.
  • It is health-promoting for employees that they perceive their work as meaningful and that sufficient work equipment and aids are available.
  • Time pressure, stress and heavy loads are the main burdens, as well as language problems and insufficient opportunities to recover from work and relax.

Health-promoting strategies, fields of action and measures are derived from the results of the surveys, interviews and analyzes. The measures are then implemented in-house and their effect is monitored. If measures have proven their worth, they can be taken over into normal operation.

An example of a measure for residents is the mobility promotion program “Moving Life” of the project “Health has no age”. The aim is to maintain and improve the mobility of older people and thus also their independence. After the program, the participants feel subjectively more secure in everyday life, have made new contacts, get up more easily and can stand freely for a longer period of time.

Additional Information:

  • Project "Health has no age" (Styria vitalis)
  • Guide to holistic health promotion in a senior citizens' home setting (FGÖ)
  • Workplace health promotion: proven & effective

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