Assisted living has many definitions; it can mean a majority of different things depending on the person. However, too many assisted living is synonymous with, “nursing home,” or “hospital,” and in some cases, “hospice;” all of these synonyms not being entirely true.
Often people assume that assisted living is 24/7 nurse care, preventing an individual from privacy and living his or her life the way that he or she wants; this is an extreme misconception. In fact, assisted living facilities are unique to every person that relocates to one. Some residents need more assistance, while others need hardly any at all and simply relocate in order to not have to take care of an outdoor landscape. Assisted living facilities are most popular amongst seniors that have used in-home senior care services before and have had positive experiences with them; so much so that they wish to relocate to have this option at all times.
The reasons are vast as to why a person moves into an assisted living facility, knowing this is important and will help you or a loved one choose an assisted living facility appropriately when the time is right.
Assisted Living Myths and Misconceptions
In order to get a better understanding of assisted living facilities and their benefits, here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about what it’s like to live in one of these communities:
1. Moving To An Assisted Living Facility Means You Have to Give Up All Of Your Hobbies
The truth behind this misconception is actually the total opposite. Assisted living facilities have many opportunities for residents to participate in their favorite hobbies. From nature hikes, sightseeing tours, and tennis, to concerts, woodworking, and craft workshops, there is never a shortage of activities for seniors. In fact, many residents will be arguably more active when they relocate to an assisted living facility because of the wide array of options.
Similarly, residents still have freedom so they can continue practicing their favorite hobbies they enjoyed at home whenever they want.
2. Staying at Home is Cheaper
In some cases, this may be true, however, a majority of the time assisted living facilities are more affordable to live in than staying at home. Maintaining and taking care of a home is expensive, small costs such as taking care of a lawn or repair siding and shutters can and will add up. Moving into a senior living facility will get rid of these extra costs; home repairs and needs will be taken care of by the assisted living facility staff.
Similarly, an assisted living facility is paid for monthly and covers most living expenses and needs. Depending on the apartment size and level of care, prices vary but overall, residents are not responsible for paying insurance, taxes, and utilities. Relocating to an assisted living facility could actually end up saving a resident a lot of money in his or her golden years.
3. All Residents are Sick or Dying
All residents are absolutely not sick and dying. Of course, there are some assisted living communities that cater to sickly patients, but this is not true for all facilities.
Many assisted living facilities are simply for residents that are 55 and older, usually in very good health. A lot of the time, residents relocate into assisted living facilities because they will have fewer home repairs and maintenance and because they are typically easier to get around because they are designed for residents 55 and older.
If a resident needs ample amounts of medical care due to sickness, options are available for that resident. However, most assisted living communities are oriented around socializing and staying active in order to stay healthy.
4. You Lose Your Independence
Residents in an assisted living facility have just as much independence at a facility as they would at home. One of the main purposes of an assisted living facility is to provide care for a resident if it is needed, otherwise, that care will be at a minimum. Residents will still be able to do the things they love and enjoy whenever they want. Residents are not limited to where they can go and what they can do.
5. You Won’t Have Your Own Space
Most assisted living facilities to follow an apartment or condominium layout, allowing each resident to have his or her own space in the community. Residents are free to do what they please to that space (within reason) and have the freedom to have guests over whenever they please. Many facilities encourage residents to make it as unique to them as possible with pictures, decorations, and art.
The only major difference between an assisted living facility space and a resident’s initial home is that there is care available if needed. If a patient doesn’t need care, then they can continue going about their lives as they normally would.
6. I Won’t Be Able to See My Friends and Family Often
Family and friends can visit as frequently as they want. Assisted living facilities are very visitor friendly and often even have activities or excursions that family and friends can attend. Both common areas and living spaces are large enough to accommodate guests and to host gatherings.
Many assisted living facilities to encourage residents to continue to maintain their active social life in order to stay happy and healthy.
7. Well Known Assisted Living Facilities Provide the Best Care
Though well known assisted living facilities have their benefits, less popular facilities are just as great. It’s important to do research to find the community that is best for you and your needs/ wants.
Certain less known facilities may have special features, such as one story housing for residents that are unable to walk upstairs, whereas a well-known facility may not have this option. Or, a less known facility may have more activities than a well-known one. Look online and contact each residency before making any final choices; every resident requires a different kind of facility.
Find the Assisted Living Facility that is Right For You
It’s important to do the appropriate research to find the right living facility that will meet your wants and needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to and visit multiple assisted living facilities before making a final choice. Keep these common misconceptions in mind as you decide on which assisted living facility is right for you.