Thankfully, perceptions of aging are evolving today. We no longer picture those over 55 as frail, set in their ways, and content with simply watching TV from their rocking chairs. You’ve resoundingly proven how active, vibrant, and purposeful life can continue to be. Senior living certainly took notice of this and has also evolved from the ‘old folks’ home of the past to communities that more closely resemble resorts with worry-free living, plenty of amenities and a lifestyle focused on wellness. The trouble is, senior living perceptions haven’t kept up leaving many to discount the option without truly understanding fact versus fiction. Let’s dispel some of the most common myths.
Myth: You’ll have to give up your independence.
Fact: You may even have more independence than at home as senior living communities are now specifically designed to provide just the right amount of support and assistance to help you live life to its fullest. It’s an environment that fosters independence with options for everything from customized care plans to choosing how you want to spend each day to even personalizing your own space.
Myth: Senior living communities feel institutional and depressing.
Fact: Today’s communities are often on beautiful, sprawling campuses with lush green landscaping, elegantly decorated interiors, spacious accommodations, and welcoming common areas. They also offer amenities such as pools, fitness centers, restaurant-style dining, housekeeping and laundry services, full-service salons – even concierge services and scheduled transportation. Plus, most are pet friendly!
Myth: You’ll be lonely with nothing to do.
Fact: Boredom is the only option you won’t have in senior living. Most communities have a dedicated program director and monthly calendars filled with clubs, classes, events, and outings. You’ll be surprised by the number of opportunities to socialize, exercise, pursue hobbies, and stay mentally active. There are also plenty of common areas to gather with friends and/or to host families both indoors and outdoors.
Myth: You won’t have any privacy.
Fact: Actually, you can have as much privacy as you want. Not only do senior living communities typically offer a range of accommodations from condominiums and apartments to free-standing cottages in some cases, remember those sprawling campuses? You’ll have ample space to get away for some quiet time in any number of beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces including your own private residence!
Myth: Most people can’t afford senior living.
Fact: It can actually be less expensive than home! We often think of the cost at home as simply mortgage or rent, but to get an accurate comparison you must include food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and entertainment as well because those are all typically included in the monthly cost of senior living. Then add the high cost of at-home care and/or modifications to make your home more accessible and senior living might be much more affordable than you think. Plus, there are a variety of options available to help offset the cost.
Myth: There’s no need for senior living unless you’re sick.
Fact: People are moving to senior living earlier than ever these days; even while perfectly healthy. Senior living’s evolution from a strictly clinical focus to one of overall wellness means seniors now have a more active, convenient, and carefree lifestyle option than they would find at home. Plus, they have peace of mind that they won’t have to move again as health needs evolve as many communities offer a full continuum of care on one campus.
For more information on aging at home versus in senior living, check out our Stay or Go Guide!