Often when family members are unwilling to consider assisted living and long-term care it is because they have false ideas about what these types of facilities are really like. Here are 5 common misconceptions about assisted living and long-term care.
- I will lose my independence.
Many people fear they will lose their independence when they move to an assisted living facility. However, often people have more opportunities to be independent. Facilities that provide transportation and help arrange appointments as well as entertainment give residents the freedom to move about their community without relying on friends or family for rides. Assisted living also offers freedom from everyday chores and difficult tasks such as cleaning, yard maintenance, and meal preparation. This helps many residents have more time to enjoy hobbies and social activities.
- I will feel lonely.
Many assisted living facilities offer plenty of opportunities for social interaction. There is often planned entertainment in addition to spaces to enjoy card games, book clubs and other more informal socializing. Sharing meals with other residents is also a great way to get to know new people and make friends. Assisted living also has spaces for family gatherings and has little to no restrictions regarding guests and visitors.
Many family members who were previously consumed with the stress of caregiving on top of their necessary daily activities such as work, school, and caring for a family, have more time to spend enjoying family members who are well cared for in an assisted living or long-term care facility.
- I can’t afford it.
Assisted living and long-term care can be expensive. However there are many affordable options available. When you consider the cost of living elsewhere and what is provided when you pay for long-term care, it is well worth the money. Senior Living cites a study that found the actual expenses of a family member providing care are much more than expected. Often times, family members miss out on job opportunities, dip into their own savings or reduce their own work hours in order to provide care for a family member.
When you plan appropriately and are aware of all of your options, you can save your family members the expense and stress of caregiving, while you receive excellent care in an assisted living facility or long-term care facility.
- Assisted living is a euphemism for nursing home.
Assisted living facilities are not nursing homes. Nursing homes provide around the clock care for residents that cannot perform activities for daily living. A nursing staff provides daily medical attention for residents that need intensive and continual care. Assisted living facilities only offer varying levels of assistance with activities for daily living, such as bathing or grooming. Royal Gardens also offers assistance with medication and memory care. Assisted living simply provides residents help with some of the more difficult tasks that typically come with living alone. If you or your family member needs 24 hour medical care or help with all of your activities for daily living you may need to consider a nursing home instead of assisted living.
- I will be treated poorly.
Staff are trained to keep their residents best interests in mind. Many staff form tight bonds with their residents and consider them family. Beyond excellent staff, assisted living and long term care facilities undergo a very specific licensing process. Each state has regulations in place that requires care facilities to provide excellent and safe care for their residents. Ultimately, you have a say in where your new home will be. If you are uncomfortable with staff members or have any reservations about how residents are treated, you should choose a different assisted living facility.
Find Out the Truth
Don’t let these misconceptions get in the way of receiving excellent care in a quality setting. Many residents’ quality of life improves significantly after moving to assisted living. The best way to get acquainted with what assisted living is to visit facilities. Talk with staff and residents about their experiences and get to know what living in an assisted living community could be like.