Even if you’ve done your research and know all about assisted living, there are still a lot of misconceptions out there. Assisted living communities aren’t what they used to be — many newer places combine the best parts of modern, resort style apartment living with some unexpected perks. Whether you or a loved one could use a helping hand with day-to-day activities of daily living or are in need of a higher level of care, myths and sterotypes can keep seniors from getting the help they deserve. Hopefully, we can set the record straight on some common assisted living misconceptions:
Myth: Assisted living is only for the very old and frail.
Reality: While assisted living communities do cater to seniors, they also offer a range of services and amenities that can accommodate people at any stage in life. Whether you’re looking for independent living, supportive care, or memory care, there’s an assisted living community out there that’s right for you.
Myth: Assisted living is expensive and I can’t afford it.
Reality: The cost of assisted living can vary depending on the level of care you need, but in general it’s much more affordable than nursing home care. Many communities also offer a variety of payment options, including monthly payments, lump sums, and sliding-scale fees. Another way to see how affordable Assisted Living actually is- use a cost comparison worksheet to see what your expenses look like in assisted living vs in your own home.
Myth: Assisted living is just a nursing home in disguise.
Reality: Assisted living communities are not nursing homes. While both offer care and support for seniors, assisted living is focused on independent living and providing assistance with activities of daily living, while nursing homes provide around-the-clock care.
Myth: Assisted living is depressing, and I’ll be stuck in a retirement home.
Reality: Assisted living communities are not just for retirees! In fact, many assisted living facilities offer a variety of activities and social events that cater to people of all ages. Assisted living is focused on enabling seniors to live independently, and with the help of in-home care services or assisted living facilities, they can continue to do so.
Myth: Assisted living isn’t safe because it’s not a medical environment.
Reality: Assisted living communities are regulated by state and federal authorities. Assisted living staff are trained to respond quickly in an emergency situation. The myth comes from many people confusing assisted living with a nursing home. In Assisted Living, the focus is as much on hospitality and resident engagement/quality of life as it is on care.
Myth: Assisted living is only for people with dementia.
Reality: Assisted living communities offer a wide range of services and amenities, including independent living units that can accommodate seniors with physical disabilities or other conditions. Assisted living residents may have different levels of need and care needs — memory care facilities provide around-the-clock supervision for people who require extra assistance with daily tasks due to Alzheimer’s disease or another cognitive impairment. A memory care assisted living residence is different from traditional assisted living in that has a special level of licensure, dementia trained caregivers, therapeutic programming and generally offers a secure living environment for residents.
Myth: Meals Are Plain and Unappetizing.
Reality: A cornerstone of assisted living is resort style living and at the right place, the cuisine not only nutritious but delicious and served in a gracious setting. You are a discerning diner. You want what you want when you want it and as you age, you deserve to have what pleases you. At the Briarcliffe Preserve, our inspired, freshly prepared nutritional cuisine is sure to delight your eyes and please your palate. Enjoy three freshly prepared, chef-inspired meals every day. Daily Happy Hours provide a convivial social opportunity and a relaxing transition to dinner.
Myth #6 – I Won’t Be Able to See My Friends.
Reality : The Briarcliffe Preserve offers a particularly welcoming environment. The community common areas and individual suites are nicely prepared to welcome guests, family gatherings, and even small parties. Your social life doesn’t have to change when you move! In fact, many individuals choose to move into assisted living facilities, so they have more time to enjoy life and see their friends. Your friends will enjoy visiting you at the Preserve and you may find that you already know a few people living here.
Myth: Assisted Living Facilities Are Dirty and Unsanitary.
Reality: Assisted living communities are clean and well-maintained, just like any other type of housing facility. In fact, assisted living staff are required to follow a strict cleaning and sanitation protocol. Assisted living communities are also inspected by state and federal agencies. Another great benefit of Assisted Living is that weekly housekeeping is included in the rent.
Myth: Assisted Living Facilities Are Expensive.
Reality: Assisted living communities vary in price, just like any other type of housing. The average monthly cost for assisted living is around $4600, but this varies depending on the state and the size of the community. Assisted living communities also offer a variety of payment options, including month-to-month leases, deposits, and down payments.
Myth: Assisted Living Facilities Are Not Safe – I’d be putting my parent at risk by bringing them there!
Reality: Assisted living facilities are safe and secure places to live. Many have a person at the front door to screen visitors and a secure doorbell system. Individual apartments have locks and the perimeter of the building is also often secure so that visitors can come and go through just one main entrance. Associates undergo criminal background checks.
By their nature, Assisted Living Facilities are safer than living at home on you own when you need assistance with ADLs. Assisted Living personnel provide supervision and assistance with activities of daily living such as medication management, bathing, dressing, eating and toileting in order to protect residents from potential harm. In addition, many facilities have 24-hour staff on duty and emergency response systems in place.
Myth: Assisted Living Facilities Are Unfriendly to Pets
Reality: Many assisted living communities welcome pets! In fact, many assisted living facilities have on-site pet parks or allow residents to bring their pets with them. Assisted living communities that do not allow pets often have arrangements with local animal shelters or pet groomers to provide care for resident’s animals. The Preserve at Briarcliffe is a Pet-friendly community (Supportive Independent and Assisted Living).
Myth: Assisted Living Facilities Are Isolated and Lonely.
Reality: Assisted living facilities are not isolated! In fact, many assisted living communities have on-site restaurants, libraries, fitness centers and other amenities. Assisted living residents often enjoy socializing with their friends and neighbors in these communal spaces. Additionally, most assisted living communities offer a variety of activities and events, such as arts and crafts classes, technology workshops, movie and live sporting events nights as well as game and card nights.
Myth: Assisted Living Facilities Are Only for Elderly Couples.
Reality: Assisted living facilities are not just for couples! In fact, many assisted living communities have a wide variety of activities and amenities that cater to all interests. Assisted living is perfect for seniors who want to enjoy their golden years in a fun and welcoming setting. Assisted living communities are also often more affordable than many people expect.
If you or a loved one is considering assisted living, it’s important to get all the facts and to visit. Assisted living communities are not what they used to be — many newer places combine the best parts of modern, resort style apartment living with some unexpected perks. Being well-informed is vital to making important decisions about your future. Now that we’ve helped you bust through all these myths and sterotypes- we hope you’ll make an appointment to visit us in person. You won’t know it’s right for you until you get that gut feeling when you visit.
Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful in dispelling some of the myths about assisted living. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Briarcliffe Preserve :401.944.2450 www.briarclifferi.com