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Kendal at Oberlin Blog

What is a “Resident-Driven” Community?

Posted by Molly Kavanaugh on Feb 20, 2015 8:30:00 AM

residents-walking-on-keysWhen you’re considering a transition to a retirement community, options are plentiful. Only you can ensure that doesn’t change once you have made your decision. We’re talking about resident-driven communities. And while it’s not a new concept in our industry, each community offers a different level of autonomy and resident involvement.

A resident-driven community, put simply, is one that recognizes individuals’ unique concerns and desires. No one knows the aspirations and ambitions of the residents better than the residents themselves.

5 Basic Principles of Resident-Driven Senior Living Communities


Choices are what allow older adults to maintain an independent lifestyle. Most people have favorite activities and interests. Resident-driven communities create opportunities for  residents to continue those activities. As an individual, you should live life as you desire. Has your independence ever been threatened? If not, you’re probably taking some things for granted. If self-determination and managing your own day-to-day activities are important to you, then select a community that encourages you to live life independently while fulfilling your need for social activity and personal growth.

Residents Should Feel Empowered

Residents should feel empowered so they know their opinions matter. Does the community have an active residents’ association? Does the staff work hand-in-hand with community members? What is the  residents’ impact on governance?

Do residents plan activities and excursions?

Who organizes programs and activities? Look for a community where the residents are involved in planning activities and organizing interest and support groups. Ask about committees where residents have the opportunity to state their preferences.  


Relationships enhance quality of life. Bonds between residents, employees and staff are integral in a resident-driven retirement living community. Look for these partnerships on your visit.


Respect is the most important of the 5 principles. Without respect, the rest of these will not be accomplished. Everyone has a unique perspective and his/her opinion should be valued.

Kendal at Oberlin has been a resident-driven organization from the start. We value people and recognize that your happiness and sense of purpose lead to a fulfilling lifestyle. A resident-driven community is one that enables you to be you.

Experience the difference of resident-driven communities by scheduling a visit with Kendal at Oberlin today. Speak with our community members about why they enjoy their life at Kendal.

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Topics: Retirement Community

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