Assisted living facilities are a senior living alternative for those with few assistance needs with their daily living and care. Typically, they don’t require the intensive medical and nursing care provided in a nursing home. Despite the great advantages of moving into an assisted living facility, making the decision is difficult for many seniors and their families. Listed below are some common misconceptions about assisted living facilities that may help you understand the benefits of this option.
Myths about Assisted Living
1. Assisted Living means you are no longer independent
Sometimes, due to illness or disabilities that advance with age, it becomes more and more difficult to perform tasks that were once so simple. While it is true that becoming fully dependent on others doesn’t sound ideal, it’s unfair to say that assisted living facilities take independence away completely. When the residence and the system work correctly, assisted living facilities can encourage the physical and mental strength of its residents. Independence and privacy should be provided when choosing to live in an assisted living facility. Plus, most assisted living facilities have different, spacious floor plans to choose from, which allows you to furnish it yourself — giving the residence a real sense of “home.”
2. Big Name facilities provide the best care
Trusting the big name or better-known companies without doing your due diligence can be a bit naïve! You might put your loved one into a situation where they’re less comfortable than if you had done the proper research. Take your time checking newspapers, the Better Business Bureau, the state agency responsible for regulating assisted living facilities, and – nowadays – the internet! Look for Google, Facebook, or Yelp reviews and sort through the most recent. This way, you can get a clear picture of what kind of facility it really is. Also, check for their license, and history of state inspections.
Lately, we have seen a shift in demand for the smaller, more home-like facilities. They provide a more intimate-feeling facility for their residents. Smaller facilities have more flexibility to be creative with their daily activities, furnishing of the facility, food menus, and level of care. At the end of the day, it is a personal choice based on the needs and health of the potential resident. The best advice we can give is to do all your proper research on the facilities that you have in mind. If possible, tour as many as you can before making the final decision.
3. Staying at home is more affordable
One of the most common concerns about assisted living is the impression that staying at home is more affordable. While this may be true in some cases, the actual cost-savings benefit might not be as big as you would imagine. The main reason? A large percentage of those who decide to remain at their homes end up relying on unpaid family caregivers. These caregivers may be under-equipped to handle an older adult’s deteriorating health or disabilities, which can lead to an excessive amount of strain on the family. Furthermore, the financial burden incurred by the family (due to having to take significant time away from their own careers to help with activities like feeding, bathing, dressing, transporting, running errands, or helping around the house) can become quite expensive in the long run.
4. Moving to assisted living facility means giving up all your hobbies
Actually, it is quite the opposite! Living within a similar age group and like-minded community has shown that seniors are more active than they were when living by themselves. Most facilities have a wide array of hobbies such as – gardening, fitness and yoga, bingo, cards, book clubs, cooking classes, and more. Studies have shown that seniors who are active and engaged within their community tend to be healthier and happier overall.
This article was written by Ryan Knaak.