Assisted living myths can hold seniors back from exploring their options for senior care. They may be afraid that they will lose their privacy and independence or have to give up their hobbies.
But assisted living communities today are comfortable, inviting, and personal. They are also cost-efficient compared to home ownership and maintenance costs.
Myth 1: Assisted living is akin to a nursing home
Assisted living is an excellent alternative to nursing homes. Instead of offering 24-hour care from nurses, they focus on balancing independence with personal assistance and community. They also offer group leisure activities, housekeeping, and meals.
Many senior citizens fear moving into an assisted living facility because they believe they’ll lose their privacy and independence. While assisted living facilities maximize residents’ independence, they’re not constantly supervised and are encouraged to continue enjoying their hobbies and interests. In addition, most assisted living communities offer complimentary transportation to allow seniors to experience local shopping, dining, and cultural districts.
Another common myth is that assisted living fosters loneliness and a lack of friendship. Fortunately, today’s assisted living facilities go to great lengths to establish a warm, homely environment where seniors can easily forge new relationships. They often offer hobby clubs, fitness classes, and cultural outings to promote a well-rounded lifestyle. Residents can also invite their loved ones to spend time with them at their apartments or suites, generally set up like individual houses or condos.
Myth 2: Assisted living is not suitable for couples
Modern assisted living communities are designed to look like warm and inviting places. St. Petersburg assisted living offers many opportunities for socializing and exploring new hobbies, including dining rooms, exercise classes, craft rooms, a library, and more.
Seniors have private suites and are not supervised or forced to participate in activities they don’t want to. Most facilities also offer complimentary transportation to shopping centers, cultural districts, and other outside events so residents can continue to enjoy a rich, full life.
While it’s true that couples with varying care needs may end up being housed in different areas of the community, most communities allow them to visit one another daily, spend time together, and share meals. This can be an excellent way for seniors to preserve their quality of life and remain as happy and healthy as possible, especially if they are coping with dementia. As a result, this type of arrangement can even help couples to stay closer together.
Myth 3: Assisted living communities are expensive
Seniors and their families may find moving to a senior living community daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. While assisted living communities may initially come with sticker shock, it is essential to understand that most cost less than staying home.
Costs include housing (private apartments), daily meals, housekeeping, activities and excursions, transportation services, and on-site amenities. Additionally, many communities allow residents to bring their pets and can help find new furry friends in the neighborhood.
Another common misconception is that assisted living communities are boring. In reality, most communities have a full schedule of fun and engaging activities, from cooking demos to sightseeing tours. Plus, visiting hours are flexible, so family members and friends can come whenever they want. This can keep a senior’s social life active, vital for maintaining health and preventing isolation and depression.
Myth 4: Assisted living communities are 24-hour care
Families considering moving their loved ones into assisted living often have numerous questions and concerns. But, as with any health or personal decision, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction and know what you’re getting into.
While some senior care facilities offer 24-hour care, assisted living communities do not. Unlike hospital-like nursing homes that focus on skilled nursing care for people with more severe needs, assisted living is designed to help seniors maintain their independence. Assisted living residents live in private apartments with lockable doors and bathrooms. Staff members will only enter their private living quarters if they assist with a medical or other urgent need.
And while many worry that assisted living is boring, the opposite is true. Most assisted living communities offer a full schedule of social activities, including movie nights, dinner outings, exercise classes, arts and crafts, and more. These programs are designed to keep residents engaged and active, making it less likely that they will develop loneliness or isolation as they did at home.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.