Today I’d like to share a guest post on just a couple of the rather negative and fear-inducing associations and ideas many can have when it comes to ‘senior’ living, and how they don’t necessarily have to be a reality.
There comes a time in most elderly people’s lives when they are forced to sit down with their family and contemplate the idea of moving to an assisted living facility. The thought of no longer being able to live at home is something that most of us truly dread, but the truth is that sometimes senior living is the far better option—especially for those who are no longer able to fully care for themselves.
Unfortunately, most people tend to have numerous fears about their new life in assisted living. The vast majority of these fears are completely unfounded, and in fact, life in a senior care community is probably far more comfortable and entertaining than you imagine. With this in mind, we’ll now take a look at some of the most common misconceptions about assisted living in order to show you why it just might be the best choice.
1. Loss of Independence
One of the biggest fears that people have about assisted living facilities is that they’ll be forced to give up some or all of their independence. While senior living communities provide a wide range of assistance and support to residents – cleaning, housekeeping, cooking, maintenance, etc. – residents are still free to spend their days however they wish, whether it’s socializing with others or going out on the town. They may decide to participate in some of the community organized events or set up activities on their own time. Either way, the purpose here is to lend assistance, not control every aspect of daily life.
2. Boredom and Loneliness
Being separated from your family home is troubling for anyone. Fears of isolation and mind-numbing routine can plague your thoughts at the very mention of “assisted living.” But the truth is actually quite surprising, as most seniors in assisted living tend to be far more active than those who continue to live at home.
Senior living communities provide residents with the opportunity to make friends and enjoy activities with a diverse group of people in their age range. And the close living arrangements will ensure that your senior loved one will never feel alone while you’re away.
3. The Expense Factor
Some assisted living communities seem to have a steep price tag, but really, the cost is no higher than keeping up a house, buying groceries, and paying utilities, even if the mortgage is long paid off. And in-home care can actually make the price go up.
At an assisted living facility, there is one upfront price that includes housing, food, entertainment, assistance, therapy, medical care, and more, so in reality, you’re actually saving money by moving into a senior living community.
4. Unappetizing Meal Selection
Many people don’t like the idea of having to eat the food in an assisted living facility, believing that it will be bland, boring or downright bad. While it is true that these facilities focus heavily on nutrition in order to ensure that meals meet each resident’s needs, most facilities still place a primary focus on creating tasty, healthy dishes.
Decadent desserts, gourmet lunches, and hearty dinners are all prepared in a way to make sure that residents stay healthy and happy. Of course, the quality and variety of meals offered will be different with every facility, so if this is a top concern, then be sure to bring that up in your search.
Although it will never be quite the same as living at home, a senior care community provides the ideal combination of agency and assistance that is needed as residents age. And many of the fears that come with this big move are actually unfounded. If living at home is becoming an issue, then assisted living may be the answer.
Caryl Anne Crowne is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Senior Helpers. She regularly produces content for a variety of caregiving blogs, discussing different ways of improving senior quality of life.