Regardless of age, change is scary, as is the unknown. So it’s no surprise that fear is what holds many seniors back from moving into an assisted living community. The good news is that most of the fears associated with assisted living are based on misinformation.
To help ease those fears and set the record straight, we address the five most common concerns expressed by seniors considering assisted living.
Assisted Living: Fear vs. Fact
1. Fear: “I will lose my independence.”
Fact: Assisted living is actually about helping seniors restore their independence, not taking it away. Residents receive as much help as they want or need, not more. In fact, assisted living communities are designed for seniors who are fairly healthy, but simply want a little extra help with everyday tasks, such as home maintenance, cooking, medication management and personal care.
By reducing the amount of time spent on these less desirable chores, seniors have more freedom and time to focus on the things they enjoy, including friends, family, hobbies and volunteering.
2. Fear: “I will get older and sick faster.”
Fact: Seniors in assisted living communities report less stress than when they lived at home, and they also tend to develop less chronic health problems than the stay-at-home population. In addition, because they not only make new friends, but they have more free time to enjoy them, assisted living residents are far less likely to develop depression.
Meanwhile, the stress of maintaining a home, the isolation of living alone, and the increased danger of injuries and falls actually makes living at home more hazardous to your health.
3. Fear: “I will be forced to participate in activities.”
Fact: Many seniors resist assisted living because they think they’ll have to stop doing the things they enjoy, and be forced to participate in the activities offered by the community. While our assisted living communities do offer a variety of recreational and social activities, as well as wellness and educational programs, seniors have the choice to participate in only those activities that interest them, or avoid them altogether.
For those non-conformist-types, many of the residents have formed special interest groups of their own that meet regularly, and most seniors are surprised to find they can can still do all the things they loved at home, even walking and gardening.
4. Fear: “I can’t afford assisted living.”
Fact: There are several ways to plan for and approach assisted living to make the fees more manageable. For instance, long-term care insurance or VA benefits may be able to help, and a financial planner may suggest other options, such as borrowing from a whole life insurance policy or liquidating assets.
When you compare the cost of assisted living with owning or renting a home, groceries, utilities, car maintenance, professional caregivers and other amenities, such as fitness and entertainment, you might find that assisted living actually costs less than staying at home.
5. Fear: “Everyone will forget about me.”
Fact: When freed from the constraints of maintaining a home, cooking, grocery shopping, paying bills and more, most seniors in assisted living find it’s actually easier to connect with and keep in touch with friends and family. In fact, the majority of assisted living communities encourage friends and family to visit, and make it easy for them to do so.
There are also many more opportunities to make new friends. Not only are seniors in assisted living surrounded by their peers, but the variety of entertainment and enrichment opportunities makes it easier to find likeminded individuals with similar interests.
Assisted Living Communities in the Albany Capital Region
At Eddy Senior Living, we realize that the decision to move into assisted living is not an easy one, but in many cases, it is the best one. We also appreciate that every individual’s needs are different, which is why we offer several senior living options, including independent senior living, long-term skilled nursing care and memory care, in addition to assisted living.
To help you determine the best senior living solution for you or your parents, or to learn more about our assisted living communities in Troy, East Greenbush, Slingerlands, Niskayuna and Queensbury NY, please contact us online, or call (518) 280-8383 to speak directly with our Senior Living Specialists.
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