Senior adults and their families are often hesitant at the thought of moving into an assisted living community. After years of living in the comfort of their own home, there comes a time for change for seniors who need a little extra help in their lives. Change doesn’t have to be intimidating and finding the right assisted living home often improves the health and quality of life for those senior adults in a difficult situation.
Because this is a big life change and a tough decision to make, it’s best for families to conduct due diligence by researching the basics of assisted living. Since there are so many misconceptions about living in an assisted living community, we’re addressing some of the most common myths about assisted living.
1. Moving into an assisted living facility means a loss of independence
It’s true that when elderly people experience illness and disabilities related to age they require more help from others. But characterizing assisted living as losing one’s independence just isn’t necessarily true. Assisted living is all about making life easier and safer for residents, not about imposing controls on their life. A resident’s living space is still their own to furnish and decorate as they wish, with all the privacy of a normal dwelling. In fairness, a good senior living facility helps to maintain and encourage independence by providing stimulation from isolation as well as helping to prevent injuries or personal neglect. Further mental or physical deterioration, which can lead to loss of independent capabilities, will be delayed or halted.
2. Staying at home is less expensive than assisted living
While many in this age group have their mortgages paid off at this stage of life, long-term care can become a financial concern. In addition to long-term health care and home maintenance, managing chores, groceries, utilities taxes and insurance can be a burden that weighs heavy on some. Considering all the time and health improvement savings, assisted living can be surprisingly affordable. For example, assisted living in Ft. Smith, AR, Peachtree Village costs between $2,200 and $2,950 per month. Consider also that there are assisted living funding and assistance options available for those that quality.
3. All assisted living facilities are the same
Assisted living homes come in many different shapes, sizes, features, monthly rates, staffing, locations, values and services offered. There are apartments, townhouses, duplexes, some with yards, studios, single bedroom or multiple bedrooms. It’s easy to lump all assisted living communities into one category. But just like any home or community, there are significant differences to consider. Every individual will have their own personal preferences on what feels like home to them. Be sure to do homework and consider all preferences. Take tours of the community and ask plenty of questions to make sure it’s the right fit.
4. No pets are allowed in senior living communities
This may be true of some assisted living facilities and we understand why people may think this. However, many communities do allow pets with certain restrictions and considerations. At Peachtree Village, we love pets and know what a great companion they make for our residents.
5. Assisted living residents are not allowed to drive
As long as they are legally and safely able to operate a vehicle, residents don’t have to give up driving after moving to an assisted living community. Assisted living communities often encourage as much independence as is safe for individuals. Still, many residents decide that they won’t need their car because their needs are being met by the transportation services most senior living communities offer.
6. Hobbies must be abandoned
The truth is, living in a community often means that seniors are more active than they were when living alone. Since loneliness and isolation are common concerns for aging populations, resident life specifically addresses those concerns. Entertainment and hobbies are regularly provided in assisted living and may include music, dance, gardening, fitness, card playing, bingo and reading, just to name a few.
7. Assisted living centers are for residents who are sick or dying
One of the most common myths about assisted living is the perception of the health condition of people who move in. Many still believe that assisted living is where one goes to live out their last months or years. Sickness and death weigh heavy on the hearts of senior adults as well as their families. Because of this, they don’t want to live somewhere they perceive is for the sick and dying. We completely understand and are here to tell you, assisted living is not a place where seniors go to die. Assisted living is not nursing home living, and seniors who live in assisted living must be able to maintain a certain level of mobility and independence. Assisted living homes are a place to maintain a quality of life and open up a new chapter in life. The chapter of golden years where one can kick back and take it slow rather than worry. Without the assistance provided in these communities, many seniors’ health and mental well-being would decline rapidly.