There are many myths about senior assisted living. Like all myths, they are often pervasive and difficult to discredit. Unfortunately, these myths may cause people to avoid assisted living communities just when they would most benefit from them. This article will debunk a few of the most common myths about senior assisted living.
Common Myths About Senior Assisted Living
Senior Assisted Living Myth #1: Mom or Dad would be happier at home.
Especially at the beginning of the process, most people find the idea of a new living environment stressful. Mom may think that moving into assisted living will mean the end of her freedom. However, assisted living communities can actually help a person feel more free and independent. Many daily responsibilities, such as worrying about who will cut the grass, are irrelevant in an assisted living community. Don’t discount your happiness as a caregiver either! Parents don’t like to be a burden, and having other people to rely on will be a relief to both of you. You will be free to focus on the fun stuff together, rather than the nitty gritty details of caregiving.
Senior Assisted Living Myth #2: Assisted living is expensive.
While you may get sticker shock when you see the price of assisted living, it is important to keep things in perspective. Your parent most likely has expenses associated with living at home. They might have a mortgage, pay property tax and home insurance, and have upkeep bills. If they need assistance at home, they might have a housekeeper or landscaping crew. They probably pay for home heating, electricity, and water bills, among others. An assisted living community makes all of that a moot point. Before you assume that senior assisted living is too expensive, tally up your loved one’s home maintenance costs. Don’t forget that many assisted living communities include basic medical appointments, dining, and assistance with daily activities in their fees.
Senior Assisted Living Myth #3: Assisted living means giving up things you enjoy.
Assisted living environments often give residents more time to spend with the people and activities they enjoy! Remember that your loved one will most likely be downsizing to a smaller, easier-to-care-for living space. Most assisted living homes offer community activities your loved one can take part in. This can be a real boon to their social life, especially if they find it difficult to get out and about. Organized games, aerobic classes, group dining, and more can enrich your loved one’s life and give them opportunities to socialize. Having things to look forward contributes to a greater sense of physical and mental well-being. Remind your loved one that assisted living isn’t a hospital stay – people come and go and visit as they please. This means Dad doesn’t have to give up his Friday night poker games! More and more assisted living communities even allow pets and offer opportunities for community gardening.
Senior Assisted Living Myth #4: Mom or Dad will have no independence.
Typically, in an assisted living community, your loved one will have her own apartment which she can decorate to her heart’s content. She can bring along favorite furnishings from home and choose accommodations with a kitchenette if she enjoys cooking. If Dad has trouble with daily activities, he may even regain some of those abilities after moving to an assisted living community. Many communities offer access to occupational and physical therapists, who focus on teaching residents how to be as independent as possible. Additionally, accommodations are specifically designed to accommodate mobility issues. This will increase your loved one’s independence if they currently live in an older home that doesn’t accommodate mobility issues.
Senior Assisted Living Myth #5: Assisted living communities are depressing places.
If you hear “assisted living community” and immediately picture a sparsely-furnished room of despondent patients barely getting by, stop right there! A visit to a well-run assisted living home will soon dispel this outdated notion. A good assisted living community considers their residents to be people first, not just patients to be managed. Furnishings are designed to be as homey as possible, common areas are typically cheerful and well-cared for, and stimulating activities are offered frequently. Even meals are getting more attention, and can be tailored to meet your loved one’s specific dietary needs and tastes. Freed from a myriad of daily cares, seniors in assisted living can focus on just enjoying life.