Numerous studies have found that giving nursing home residents more control or self-determination in their daily lives increases their life satisfaction. However, it is not known if elderly people living in high self-determination nursing homes are as satisfied with life as elderly people living in the community. In this study, it was found that elderly persons living in regular community housing, in low-cost community housing, and in high self-determination nursing homes reported similar levels of life satisfaction, and more life satisfaction than elderly people living in low self-determination nursing homes. Health and sociodemographic variables could not account for these findings. The common assumption that nursing homes have detrimental effects on life satisfaction appears unwarranted in the case of those that provide opportunities for self-determination.