There are three basic types of mental retardation facilities offered for the care and well-being of mentally retarded people: the group home, the nursing home and the work facility. These mental retardation facilities are also available in differing levels of care, from intermediate to severely dysfunctional. While the group home-type facility focuses on habilitation, the nursing home facility concentrates on those who may not be functional in society. The work facility is often tasked with assisting clients to develop working skills and find employment.
Programs designed to benefit the mentally retarded are typically offered in two distinct types of mental retardation facilities. Group homes for the mentally retarded provide a place where small groups of mentally retarded clients can join together and explore the many facets of habilitating into society. Group leaders, counselors and other trained staff work hand-in-hand with volunteers and clients at mental retardation facilities to discover best methods of fitting in with family and friends while in the home. Self-care, hygiene and other life skills are explored and some higher learning exercises, such as reading, writing and phone skills, are also worked on at these types of mental retardation facilities. These programs are often offered in various levels to coincide with the abilities of the clients.
Nursing home types of mental retardation facilities are designed to serve the more severely mentally retarded clients. Some of the older clients who are physically impaired and anyone who is not deemed appropriate for a group-type setting are commonly placed into these types of facilities. Unique challenges often arise in the treatment of this type of client as the day-to-day needs of a live-in program are encountered. Medical issues also come into play in this type of facility as the physical health and mental health are both being addressed, often with the goal of returning a client to his family, an independent home or a living facility or group home.
Other types of mental retardation facilities are designed to teach employment skills and work trades to the clients. Providing a meaningful way for a client to spend his or her time while also obtaining a wage is often the goal of this type of facility. Some communities combine this type of facility with a local thrift store or assembly plant. The clients in these settings can learn how to stock shelves, interact with customers and perform other work-related tasks.