Many myths and misconceptions revolve around assisted living communities, their services, costs, amenities, and level of care. Some people often confuse assisted living communities with nursing homes or associate them with loneliness, boredom, and lack of freedom. However, these communities allow seniors to enjoy freedom and independence, build meaningful connections, create friends, and receive personalized support when necessary. This guide debunks myths associated with assisted living to eliminate stigma and help seniors enjoy the benefits of these communities.
Myth: Assisted Living Function Like Nursing Homes
The truth is that nursing homes are different from assisted living communities. So what is the difference between them? Assisted living homes provide personalized care and housing to seniors who sometimes need help performing daily tasks but don’t need professional nursing services. Unlike nursing homes, these communities focus on enhancing the safety and independence of the residents. They provide private apartments, housekeeping services, and trained caregivers to assist with activities of daily living.
On the other hand, nursing homes are designed for seniors with serious medical needs who need rehabilitation services to address their medical situations. Generally, residents of nursing homes have chronic conditions, terminal illnesses, or cognitive challenges. However, some senior living communities sometimes offer medical and memory care services when necessary. Therefore, if a loved one associate these communities with sterile environments with minimal freedom, it is time to change their perspective. Understand their concerns and explain how assisted living can foster independence, enhance nutrition, improve social aspects, and boost memory.
Myth: Food and Activities Are Boring
Assisted living communities respond to individual tastes and preferences when it comes to dining. They also create social calendars based on physical and cognitive abilities, interests, and passion. With the tech-savvy generation joining the senior living community, many positive changes have been introduced to cater to their unique needs. Therefore, some modern senior communities have spas, virtual reality theaters, and game rooms to meet residents’ needs.
Some high-end communities offer residents many dining options, like restaurants with buffet lines, breakfast bistros, cocktail bars, and more. Others allow residents to invite family members for lunch or dinner to counter the stigma around bland foods. Organized physical activities and therapy for seniors provide a sense of purpose and enhance their physical and cognitive abilities. Besides, the residents can bond with friends and interact and learn new skills from each other. The activities range from woodwork classes, dancing classes, karaoke nights, educational lectures, and games or competitions.
Myth: Assisted Living Is Too Expensive
This is probably the most common myth, but the truth is that the cost is equal to or lower than the cost of receiving the same care at home. Although the price might seem high in some senior living communities, it includes everything they need, from meals to housing, cleaning, medical management, day-to-day tasks, entertainment, and social activities. Therefore, those concerned about the cost should compare various senior living options and determine the amenities and services included in each package. Some have different models for calculating the prices, with more activities attracting additional fees.
Before taking a loved one to an assisted living community, it is also crucial to understand the costs covered by insurance. If the resident is eligible for benefits, learn how the insurance can help to shift the financial burden. Some veterans can also benefit from VA’s Aid and Attendance programs.
Myth: No Privacy or Personalized Space in the Assisted Living Community
The reality is that residents can determine their privacy level. These communities usually provide private suits, which are comfortable, safe, and inviting. Therefore, introverted seniors can read books or watch their favorite programs while outgoing residents interact with friends and caregivers. Besides, caregivers in assisted living homes respect privacy and enter private rooms only when necessary to provide relevant support. However, whenever residents feel like socializing, they can leave their private rooms and enjoy the best from the other world.
Some residents are always worried about personalizing their space. Although the community might not allow residents to paint their rooms or change the tiles, some will enable them to install decorations, pictures, artifacts, and furniture with sentimental value. Since the apartments are relatively small, they may only accommodate a few things that residents want to carry from their homes. Therefore, residents can enjoy a few personal items and sacrifice their taste to enjoy other incredible benefits of the new living arrangement.
These are the common myths and realities about assisted living. Stigma and myths around assisted living communities can hinder seniors from enjoying the benefits of assisted living. However, loved ones can seek to understand seniors and explain the truth to make them change their minds.
At The Gardens of Sun City, we provide comfortable assisted living apartments to meet the unique needs of our residents. We offer a spacious activity center, quality dining, recreational activities, and barber and salon services. We also provide short-term and long-term Alzheimer’s and dementia care programs.