Addressing an Elder’s Fears about Assisted Living

Do you have a senior loved one who would benefit from an assisted living community but is fearful of the change? We address common worries here.

A mother and daughter smiling for the camera.

When a senior loved one begins to need more assistance at home or their health begins to decline, a question that often comes up is how to handle the changes. Should they stay in their house and enlist the services of a home care agency or maybe move to an assisted living community? Though many older adults say they’d like to stay at home, it might not be the most cost effective or safe solution.

While most people are aware of assisted living communities, some might have inaccurate ideas about what communities offer or how happy residents are.

Separating the facts about assisted living from the myths can allow an older family member to make a more informed decision about where to live as they grow older. Let’s address some of the most common misconceptions.

5 Falsehoods about Assisted Living Communities

  1. Assisted living communities are just pretty nursing homes.

This lingering myth is one of the most common. A senior living community is not the same thing as a nursing home. Residents of a nursing home require 24-hour skilled care. They tend to have chronic health conditions that require daily support from a nurse or therapist. While many senior living communities have a nursing care center on the same campus, it isn’t the only type of housing.

Assisted living communities are often described as the best of two worlds. A resident has their own private apartment or suite but also benefits from caregivers available on-site around the clock. Some assisted living communities also have specialized memory care for adults with dementia.

  1. Assisted living communities are only for people who are ill.

Another myth is that there is no real reason to move to an assisted living community unless you are ill or can’t care for your own needs. While assisted living communities can and do provide assistance with personal care for those who require it, there are many other benefits. These communities encourage healthy living, from nutritious meals to wellness programs and life-enrichment activities. That allows an older adult to maintain some degree of independence for longer.

  1. Assisted living residents sacrifice independence.

Another fear is that seniors sacrifice their independence by moving to an assisted living community. The opposite is actually true. Quality assisted living communities encourage residents to do as much for themselves as is safely possible. This helps older adults feel empowered and independent.

Residents set their own schedule and participate in as many community activities as they choose. No one is required to join any programs or events at any time.

  1. Assisted living communities don’t allow for privacy.

It’s easy to assume that a move to congregate-style housing would come with a loss of privacy. The reality is that residents have as much—or as little—privacy as they choose. If you prefer to spend most of your day in your own apartment watching your favorite television shows, you are free to do so.

While many residents enjoy being part of the lifestyle that is central to assisted living communities, the choice is entirely up to each resident.

  1. Assisted living is too expensive for most seniors.

Dollar for dollar, an assisted living community isn’t as expensive as many older adults and their families assume. When all of the benefits, care, and services are factored in, it’s easier to see how making this move is a sound financial decision. Housing, meals, utilities, wellness programs, transportation, and daily activities are a few of the many services and amenities that are included.

The best way to learn more about assisted living is to visit in person. If your search takes you to the Saratoga Springs area, we hope you will consider The Wesley Community. Please call (518) 587-3600 to learn more or schedule a private tour!