By Southgate Senior Living
Frequently, the events presented on headline breaking news about senior living cast a shadow over the absolutely stellar and brilliant service being provided to seniors. The options, amenities, services, and quality of life provided to seniors today have come a long way from the stigma of yesteryear. Come for a visit and see for yourself. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised as you dispel the old-fashioned myths about modern senior living. Today’s senior living communities range from skilled nursing facilities to rehab facilities and from assisted living communities and memory care neighborhoods to independent living communities. In each case, there are teams of dedicated professionals suitably educated, trained, certified, and licensed to improve the quality of care and quality of life of each resident who calls the community their home.
Notwithstanding the innumerable benefits of senior living, making the decision to move is a challenging one for many seniors and their families. It can be easy to think that behind the front doors, it will be just like the nursing homes or retirement centers of the 1970s. Things have certainly changed for the better! We are always delighted to share the stellar news that senior living is far beyond your expectations.
Here are the top seven myths about senior living dispelled to assist you in making your own informed decision:
Myth 1: Senior living means a loss of independence.
Senior living today is all about a senior’s abilities, wishes, and choices! No one is ever going to say “It’s time to get up!” or “It’s time for bed.” Senior living communities today offer private, spacious apartments that residents call their home, and they make their own decisions in them. Each resident chooses what to wear, what to eat, and what activities and events to participate in. Senior living residents can drive their own cars, go shopping, eat out, have unrestricted visitors, and live their own lives. They can also bring their pets! Part of maintaining independence is the ability to care for a loving pet, and pet ownership is highly encouraged as a means of companionship and service. Self-determination and resident choice are paramount in senior living. Let freedom ring!
Myth 2: Senior living communities feel institutional.
Gratefully, the modern senior living communities of today are a far cry from the institutional settings of the 1970s nursing home that are a thing of the past. Retirement homes of yesteryear conjure images of long, white hallways and fluorescent lighting reminiscent of hospitals and similar institutions. Senior living communities today are comfortable, warm and friendly, and homelike. They more closely resemble a resort than a hospital. The furnishings are comfortable, the decorations beautiful, the grounds lush, and the windows high for as much natural light as possible. Live plants inside and out breathe life and comfort into each day. Come and feel the warmth and comfort!
Myth 3: Paying for senior living is expensive
Expect to pay a lot less when you accurately compare a senior living community to your own home. Some individuals and families looking into senior living are often surprised by the monthly rates. While costs vary depending on apartment size or level of care, the average cost for senior living is often comparable to or less expensive than receiving the same services and support at home. Even for those who have paid off their mortgage, homeownership is still costly. Consider insurance, upkeep and repairs, taxes, utilities, and emergency expenses. At a senior living community, everything is included in one convenient rate. This includes the convenience of having housekeeping services, entertainment, social events, and care support available right at your fingertips. When you consider the monthly expenses required to maintain a home in combination with potential at-home care costs, living at home may end up being the most expensive option for a senior. According to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national median annual cost for homemaker services is $47,934, and a full-time home health aide costs $49,192. The senior living community cost includes twenty-four hour supervision and security, daily meals, housekeeping, laundry services, health and exercise programs, social programs, transportation, and access to professional medical services. Add it all up, and then come live it up in affordable comfort and style!
Myth 4: Senior living communities are for “old” people.
Life and living it to its fullest are what senior living today is all about! Many people choose to live in senior living because it offers opportunities for growth, engagement, and a new chapter in life. Between group discussions on current events, exercise classes, shopping, art workshops, special outings, book clubs, lectures by guest speakers, and continuous interaction and engagement with other positive, vibrant residents, living in a senior living community can offer far more mental stimulation and social engagement than staying at home.
Instead of waiting until they’re triggered or forced by poor health or other negative events, many seniors now see moving to a senior living community as a proactive lifestyle move that allows them to choose the home and community that best meets their needs, dreams,and ambitions for the years ahead. While most residents range from age sixty-two through their nineties, you’ll find that the majority of independent and assisted living residents don’t meet the stereotypical expectations of old and decrepit. Senior living communities are designed for active older adults who still have a lust and zest for life. Even those who may require some assistance due to health issues still consider themselves lively and active. Age is not a location. It’s a state of mind!
Myth 5: I’m not ready yet. I don’t need senior living until I can’t take care of myself anymore.
Life doesn’t end with a move into senior living. It’s really a new and rewarding beginning! Senior living communities today are designed to allow residents to take full advantage of the community’s offerings while receiving a little or a lot of care, if and when it is needed. It’s actually a brilliant move for retirees to secure a good spot in a stellar community early while being able to enjoy gourmet meals, engaging activities, exciting events, friendly socialization, and fun! When additional care and services are needed, residents who call the community home don’t have to move out. Additional care is here and available. Come and see your active peers living it up!
Myth 6: The Food is cold and unpleasant.
Another thing of the past is bad food. Senior living communities today provide restaurant-style service by restaurant-trained executive chefs. Culinary delights are available from sun-up to well past its setting. Dining services include several main gourmet dishes to choose from each day, multiple menu items that are always available to satisfy resident’s comfort cravings, and specialty custom dishes made from residents’ own family favorite recipes. Come and taste for yourself!
Myth 7: Senior living is boring.
Retirement in a senior living community today is anything but boring and tired. Activities and events include elegant candlelight dinners, competitive bocce ball and bowling, shopping, casino outings, professional entertainment performances, and professionally taught arts and craft classes. Boring isn’t even in the senior living vocabulary anymore. Full-time, trained professionals—rightly called Life Engagement Directors and Specialists—provide resident-specific life-engagement activities and events designed to teach, inspire, challenge, grow, and fulfil the life of all senior living residents. A holistic approach to each resident’s physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual needs are on full display every day. Come and enjoy the fun today!