Most older Americans have heard of assisted living communities, but few know what they’re all about. Some still assume that they’re synonymous with nursing homes or that moving into assisted living means giving up one’s independence. This article will address these and other common myths about senior assisted living to help older adults looking into their options to make informed decisions.
Myth #1: Moving into Assisted Living Means Giving Up Independence
This myth is particularly insidious, so it’s a good place to start. Residents at assisted living communities live vibrant, independent lives in single rooms or full apartments. The primary difference between an ordinary senior living community and an assisted living facility is that those with mobility impairments can get the help they need to maintain their independence without sacrificing their quality of living.
Myth #2: Assisted Living Facilities Are Rebranded Nursing Homes
Nursing homes, known within the industry as skilled nursing facilities, provide round-the-clock medical care to patients with acute health problems or chronic underlying conditions. Assisted living communities are for active adults who just need a little help with daily tasks. Check out Caring Advisor for help deciding which one will be a better fit.
Myth #3: Assisted Living Is too Expensive
In most cases, it less money to move to an assisted living community as it does to age in place at home, even if residents don’t have mortgages. Most modern homes aren’t designed with the mobility impaired in mind, so seniors who plan to stay at home can wind up spending a small fortune on renovations alone.
Myth #4: It Won’t Feel Like Home
Assisted living communities feature plenty of community spaces designed to meet the collective needs of all their residents, but individual residents can still personalize their apartments. Most communities encourage residents to bring photographs, personal items, favorite furniture, and other personal touches to make their spaces feel like home.
Myth #5: Assisted Living Is Only for the Very Ill
Assisted living communities aren’t places to go to die. They’re places for independent-minded seniors to go to enjoy their retirement years and maintain the quality of life they’re used to, even if they need some help around their new homes. Assisted living facilities require new residents to be at least partially independent, so they can expect to meet other active seniors, not hospice patients.
Myth #6: There Are No Visitors Allowed
Assisted living communities encourage friends and family members to visit. Many even plan family get-togethers and parties, and guests are welcome in both common areas and private apartments under most circumstances.
Myth #7: Assisted Living Is Boring
Most active seniors have personal hobbies and passions, and that’s great. There’s no reason for anyone to give up their favorite activities when moving to assisted living communities. Plus, residents will have ample opportunities to try new things, meet new people, and discover new hobbies all while avoiding accidents that might happen if they were living alone.
Myth #8: Senior Living Facilities Feel Like Hospitals
Every assisted living facility is different, but none of them are designed to feel cold and clinical. Residents can decorate their rooms however they want and communal areas typically feel more like resorts than hospitals. Those who aren’t convinced can schedule a visit to a local facility to find out for themselves.
The Bottom Line
Don’t believe all the negative hype. Assisted living communities are wonderful in that they allow seniors to maintain their independence without having to take on the hassles and safety hazards of aging in place. It’s like having the best of both worlds.