Terrible Reasons to Not Consider Assisted Living
You may have reasons you thought were smart at the time to NOT consider assisted living, but in retrospect, maybe you missed some of the simple facts about senior living communities that could help you as you search for options for your loved one.
Here are seven terrible reasons from seniors and their caregivers that describe why they chose NOT to consider assisted living.
Reason #1: (Caregiver) “I thought assisted living was like one of those ‘bad’ nursing homes where the quality of care is just awful!”
First of all, assisted living and skilled nursing communities are very different from each other. While assisted living communities provide independent maintenance-free living and assisted living services as needed, skilled nursing facilities provide rehabilitation and more acute care for advanced medical needs.
Quite a number of caregivers believe that the quality of life for their loved-one decreases in a senior living community, where older adults depend on others for personal assistance. This may have been the practice decades ago, but not now. Assisted living and skilled care communities offer high standards of care, and are equipped with the latest technology to carry out their services.
Also, with a focus on maintenance-free living, hospitality services and amenities have expanded to the point where they are comparable to a hotel or resort environment.
Reason #2: (Caregiver) “I promised my mom I wouldn’t move her out of her home…..even if she can’t take care of herself.
Promises like these are often made to soothe the fears of a loved-one, and are most often an emotional decision. Evaluate the needs of your loved one and look at the circumstances objectively. Decisions based on emotions and not logic are often flawed; they don’t account for the reality of a situation.
A parent who needs assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) will require the services of a nurse’s aide or assisted living services, where round-the-clock care is given. Explore the options together with your loved one to find out how you can best meet their needs for health, safety, security, and social interaction.
Reason #3: (Senior) “There’s no privacy at assisted living; I don’t want to see a ‘bunch ofpeople’ every day!”
Assisted living facilities offer private apartment rentals. This means seniors can choose to enjoy their privacy when they choose and be social when they want to.
Reason #4 (Caregiver) “The assisted living community we looked at didn’t have a golf course. My dad hasn’t played in years, but I know he’ll want to play again.”
Sometimes caregivers choose assisted living communities that are right for them and not for their loved one. Although many assisted living facilities are lavishly styled, it’s a bit misguided to choose a golf-oriented senior community for a parent who loved the sport in the past, but with arthritis, hasn’t played in years. Consider the needs of your loved one first when exploring options and be wary of valuing amenities before evaluating other important factors such as staff longevity, philosophy of care, and the organization’s mission.
Reason #5: (Senior) “I cannot afford assisted living on my own. I hear they charge for everything.”
Most assisted living apartment rentals are very inclusive, which means that residents pay a monthly rental that includes utilities and other services and amenities that they would typically need to budget for within their own home. Costs for groceries and meals, home maintenance, transportation expenses, electricity, heat, etc. are covered within the monthly rental of the apartment.
When it comes to assisted living services, there are several different price structures available to meet the changing needs of residents. The cost of assisted living services within a community is also often comparable with the cost of in-home care. Rather than “paying for everything,” you can pay simply for what you need.
Reason #6: (Senior) “I don’t want to live in some strange place, where no one visits me!”
Residents who choose to make the move to an assisted living community truly call it their home (not some strange place!). Most assisted living communities have an open door policy that welcomes family members to visit as if they were visiting their loved one in their home…..with no visiting hours or curfews. Family members are always invited to join their loved ones for special events, activities, and trips. When family members are not visiting, residents can enjoy the company of staff and residents who grow to know one another like family.
Reason #7: (Caregiver) Mom is not going to be interested in socializing. I hear they do a lot of activities but mom doesn’t seem to ever want to leave the house.”
Anxiety over engaging with others is perhaps the most prominent reason why many seniors think they will not enjoy life in an assisted living community. Yet at the same time, it is often these seniors who find that they truly enjoy the social interaction and would never want to go back to living alone. Social interaction and engagement not only prevents depression, but also helps to keep the brain active and sharp. With the support of caring staff and welcoming neighbors, your loved will be able to adjust through the transition and will find they are able to continue doing things they enjoy in life, perhaps even more so than they did when they were living alone at home.
Before you and your loved one choose NOT to consider assisted living, schedule a tour at a few assisted living communities and check out the many options available in detail. Speak with an elder care advisor and rather than making a decision based on assumptions and emotions, make an informed decision based on the real facts and your own experiences. After touring a community, you might be surprised by the many good reasons to consider assisted living!
About Marissa Salvesen
My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!
Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.