Older adults have noticeably more options for senior care than in decades past. Most of these choices have evolved in response to the needs and desires of today’s active, engaged seniors. From an increased number of in-home providers to assisted living communities that provide support in a variety of settings, the choices can sometimes feel overwhelming.
What often adds to the confusion are myths and misunderstandings about what an assisted living community is and what it isn’t. Because the fall season is often when families get serious about searching for an assisted living community, we thought it would be helpful to address some of the most common misconceptions.
5 Myths versus Facts: What to Know About Assisted Living
Myth #1: You’ll sacrifice independence and privacy if you move to an assisted living community.
Fact: Adult children sometimes fail to realize how much this myth holds senior loved ones back from considering a move to assisted living. The reality is that community life actually promotes independence and protects privacy. Residents live in a private suite with the support of caregivers nearby if, or when, they are needed. Caregivers provide only the amount of assistance each resident wants and needs to safely maintain their independence.
Myth #2: Assisted living is expensive and geared toward wealthy retirees.
Fact: While this one may seem believable, it’s important to consider the big picture. When you add up all the care services and varied amenities that are included in the monthly fee of an assisted living community, you’ll discover the truth. That is, an assisted living community can be a value-based solution for seniors.
Even older adults whose mortgage is paid off can incur many expenses when maintaining a home. Utilities, homeowner’s insurance, property tax, routine maintenance, appliance repairs, lawn care, transportation, and groceries add up quickly. If a senior requires home care, that’s another big expense. In 2020, the average cost of an in-home care provider was $24.00 an hour.
Myth #3: Residents have to participate in activities, like bingo.
Fact: While residents are encouraged to socialize and avoid becoming sedentary, no one is ever required to attend community activities. Yes, events like music bingo are popular at many communities, but there are other activities to participate in every day. From computer classes to fitness programs and art workshops, the resident calendar is rich with events for residents to enjoy. With a move to an assisted living community, you can be as active and engaged as you choose to be.
Myth #4: Assisted living communities are depressing.
Fact: Today’s assisted living communities are anything but depressing. Most are vibrant and attractive places to call home. They are designed to look less institutional than nursing homes, which cater to seniors with chronic or life-limiting medical conditions. In an assisted living community, you’ll find common areas where residents gather and socialize, a variety of dining rooms and bistros, billiard rooms, beauty salons, movie theaters, craft rooms, fitness centers, and more.
Myth #5: The food is bland and not very healthy.
Fact: This is another common myth linked to nursing homes of the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most assisted living communities employ a chef and/or a nutritionist to supervise menu development and meal preparation. Communities offer a variety of places to dine in the community, as well as diverse menu options.
At Sunrise Senior Living communities, for example, our Signature Dining combines personal preferences of residents with nutritional needs. We also have the ability to accommodate special diets, including low sodium, diabetic, and dysphagia. The best way to learn more is to schedule a private tour and join us for a meal before or after! Call 1-800-934-0139 to set up a time!