Objective: With the growing number of low-dependency older adults in long-stay care and the lack of categorisation of these institutions in the Republic of Ireland, it can be asked if such facilities are truly beneficial. This paper presents an explorative investigation of the influence of the nursing home environment on the capacities of low-dependency older adults.Method: The participants consisted of 50 community residents, as a control group, and 50 nursing home residents ranging in age from 65 to 95 years. The methodology was based on a triangulation of three data sources: a battery of cognitive, sensory, sensorimotor and psychological well-being assessments; a semi-structured participant interview; and an institutional questionnaire. Cluster analysis was then used to identify natural performance groupings within the assessment battery data.Results: There were two performance groupings within the dataset. Interestingly, two community residents were grouped with the majority of nursing home residents and six nursing home residents were grouped with the majority of community residents. The interpretation of the results was informed by the semi-structured interviews and the institutional questionnaires.Conclusion: Although causality cannot be attributed, findings indicate an association between the nursing home environment and the capacities of older adult residents.