Updated: May 8, 2015 by Catharine D. Allado
Assisted living has been one of the most popular senior housing options today. However, because of the common misconceptions about assisted living, some people are reluctant to move to assisted living facilities or assisted living communities. This article will enumerate and explain the common misconceptions and the facts about assisted living.
In This Assisted Living Article:
Assisted living is a relatively new idea among seniors and families. Most people are not aware of just how much assisted living options have changed over the years. Many of us still automatically think of sterile, hospital-like settings with shared rooms, minimal privacy and lots of sick people filling the halls. What many seniors and families do not realize is that assisted living facilities and assisted living communities now offer several services, including programs and activities for vibrant and active seniors.
Some people may not be aware that most of the assisted living facilities today have a “feels like home” atmosphere. While most of the assisted living communities look and feel much more like a luxury hotel or apartment complex than a hospital.
While the nursing home model that most of us are familiar with from years gone by is still in existence and is an option for those who are seriously ill or have little to no ability to care for themselves independently, assisted living facilities and senior housing options are now available for seniors with varying levels of independence and needs.
The most important thing to remember is that senior housing options are not one size fits all. When choosing an assisted living facility, make a list of what is important to you and check out various options to find the best assisted living that meets your needs and fits your desired lifestyle.
Many seniors fear that they will lose their sense of autonomy and independence by moving into an assisted living facility or assisted living community. In reality, most assisted living residents find that even greater independence is a possibility when they take advantage of on-site amenities, such as cooking and cleaning services, which free up more time, and transportation services that allow them to go shopping or meet up with friends without having to rely on family members or friends for rides.
While some seniors believe they will have to give up their privacy to move into an assisted living, this is not at all true. Assisted living facilities and assisted living communities with things like a television, telephone, Internet and mailbox ensure that residents are free to enjoy their privacy inside their rooms without disturbances. Assistance in assisted living facilities is available when needed, which allows residents to receive the help they need without worrying about a caregiver spending hours at a time in their room.
Some seniors are concerned that they will lose communication or not be able to spend as much time with their friends and family members once they move into an assisted living facility or assisted living community. This is a myth. Family and friends are always welcome. In fact assisted living places encourage families and friends to visit and participate in social events.
Moving from a large house or apartment into an assisted living facility or assisted living community with a smaller room can be a big change. However, many seniors find that it is a positive change, particularly if they have mobility or vision impairments, or no longer wish to maintain a large home. Well-planned living areas with private bathrooms and access to common areas within the assisted living communities, allow seniors to enjoy their private, easy-to-maneuver space, as well as larger, open spaces throughout the assisted living property.
Assisted living facilities and assisted living communities usually offer a wide variety of activities and programs for seniors, which may include day trips, exercise classes, book clubs, gardening classes, movie nights, birthday parties, arts and crafts activities, and other opportunities to socialize, stay active or learn new things. While an array of senior activities and senior programs may be available, it is important to remember that participation is always voluntary. Assisted living residents can choose to participate in the activities and programs or they can opt not to join if they would rather enjoy some time alone in their apartment.
Assisted living facilities and services vary greatly now, including level of independent living, level of care and services available on-site, type of assisted living facility and the number of nearby opportunities for shopping, excursions and activities. From rooftop gardens and miniature golf courses to exciting day trips and dinner parties, today’s assisted living facilities and assisted living communities are a far cry from those available for previous generations of seniors.
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