Have everyday tasks become difficult for you? Do you feel afraid and anxious and aren’t sure why? Maybe it’s time to consider the big question you’ve been avoiding—an assisted living community. Some of the common experiences cited above may indicate it’s time to move onto senior living. Let’s look at a checklist that may help you collect your thoughts before we allay your fears by debunking some of the myths associated with senior living.
Check to see if you experience any of the following conditions frequently:
- Difficulty keeping up with household chores and maintenance.
- Difficulty providing food and nutrition for yourself without someone else’s help.
- Forgetting to take medications, or taking the wrong amounts.
- Difficulty in everyday living activities such as bathing, shopping, driving, dressing, cooking, and laundry.
- Discomfort or fear leaving the house or taking transportation.
- Receiving bruises, scratches and other injuries easily after falling.
- Anxiety about falling with no one there to help.
- Finding yourself lost or “wandering.”
- Feeling isolated from social activities with friends your age.
- Difficulty with intrusive feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear.
- Difficulty remembering people and places that were once familiar.
- Experiencing such safety problems as leaving stoves and coffeepots on.
Myths about senior living
MYTH: Assisted living is the same as nursing homes.
TRUTH: Assisted living is designed on the idea of independent living. It’s the way you would live in your home, but with custodial care, light housekeeping, and help in daily activities. In assisted living, you can browse unique communities and choose your own independent apartment or condo with your own conditions and furnishings. By contrast, nursing homes provide round-the-clock medical attention to patients who need a great deal of help with everyday living, or who have cognitive or physical impairments that prevent them from living daily life comfortably.
MYTH: I’ll lose my independence if my family moves me into a “home.”
TRUTH: With the right assisted living community, your privacy and autonomy will be maintained in your independent residence, with most communities offering you a choice of your own living options and conditions.
MYTH: I’ll have to give up hobbies like gardening, shopping, and cooking.
TRUTH: The fact of the matter is that most seniors are more active in senior living than they are living independently. Many communities provide facilities for various hobbies with additional fitness programs, book clubs, and other fun and games.
MYTH: I’ll be depressed living away from home.
TRUTH: Most assisted living communities are designed in the form of small towns, or even spa resorts. And while homesickness is a qualm in any move, assisted living homes are created in the form of tightly knit communities where social interaction is key.
MYTH: You can’t host social events or see friends and family.
TRUTH: On the contrary, in many assisted living homes, hosting social events is encouraged. Visiting hours are as you set them to be, while your family members can come and go as they would if you were living at home.
MYTH: You can’t own pets.
TRUTH: Absolutely untrue! Almost all assisted living communities allow cats. Dogs up to a certain size are usually permitted and leash requirements vary. Additionally, many assisted living facilities have friendly community cats and dogs with which to bond.