It’s Not What They Think – Common Assisted Living Myths

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What we don’t know tends to scare us, and change brings about a lot of unknowns. If your parent is worried about the move to assisted living and the changes that come with it, the best thing you can do is provide them with information.

After all, the brain likes information it knows and understands and doesn’t like what it doesn’t know. When it comes time to discuss moving to assisted living, there are bound to be some questions and concerns that arise.

Despite many dramatic changes over the past 50 years in the way the United States cares for seniors, there are still many myths and misconceptions surrounding assisted living. Here’s a look at the four most common myths your parent may believe about assisted living — and how you can handle them.

 

Assisted Living Myth #1 — It’ll Be Like Living in a Nursing Home

The senior living options of today are nothing like they were when your parents were growing up. Yet when you bring up the topic of assisted living, it’s likely that they recall the cold, smelly, institutional-looking nursing homes of decades past. It’s scary to imagine living in a facility surrounded by people who are sick and dying.

Fortunately, long-term care doesn’t look like what it used to. Today, many people actually move to assisted living communities so they can keep living life the way they want to.

If your parent is worried that “assisted living” is just another name for “nursing home,” share with them how they differ:

  • Assisted living is housing that provides some care. Living in an assisted living community is similar to having a private apartment, complete with private bathroom and kitchen, plus access to elegant dining rooms, pubs, and outdoor porches as well as wellness clinics, afternoon yoga, and excursions. Most assisted living residents don’t need constant supervision. In fact, assisted living is designed to help seniors maintain their independence.
  • Nursing homes are primarily caring facilities that also provide housing. Many residents have physical or mental health issues that require constant care and supervision from nursing professionals, so the atmosphere might seem more like a hospital than a home.

The best way to convey this information is to show, not tell. Look at brochures and visit the websites of some communities in your area so your parent can see firsthand what assisted living is really like. Between the fine dining, lectures by guest speakers, happy hours, and outings, your parent might start to see assisted living as an opportunity to start a new chapter in life.

 

Assisted Living Myth #2 — Moving Will Be a Huge Undertaking

The truth is that moving will require careful planning and a smart strategy — it always does. Fortunately, it’s a short-term process with a long-term payoff, and there are a lot of people who can help:

Of course, you and your family can navigate making the move to assisted living. You can even use it as an opportunity to get the family together, hear stories from your parents about their favorite trinkets and family heirlooms, and make sure some of the items not making the move stay in the family.

Remind your parent that they’re not giving up their home — they’re just moving to a new home. If your dad has a favorite recliner for watching TV or reading, there is room for the chair in his new home. If your mom has a grandfather clock that has been in the family for years, she can find a place for that, too. Bring their favorite nightstand or beloved quilt, and display knick-knacks around the room.

Yes, moving can be overwhelming. But don’t let your parents focus on what they’re giving up. On the other side of the pile of boxes is the next chapter in life that includes less housework, no home maintenance, more friends in the neighborhood, and opportunities to enjoy new hobbies and group adventures.

 

Assisted Living Myth #3 — I Will Run Out of Money

Do your parents have assisted living sticker shock? Many older adults mistakenly believe that assisted living is not an option for them because of the costs associated with it. And at a passing glance, it’s easy to think the cost of assisted living is more expensive than living on their own or hiring home care.

But when was the last time your parents figured out their current living expenses? Consider the costs associated with living at home: rent or mortgage, property taxes, insurance, utilities, groceries, transportation, home and yard maintenance, and more.

With assisted living, nearly every expense is included in the single monthly fee. Plus, assisted living offers health promotion and exercise programs, cultural and educational activities, social opportunities, personal care services, 24-hour staffing, and more.

Additionally, there are many strategies that can help make assisted living even more affordable. Veterans benefits, long-term care insurance, bridge loans, life insurance policies, and reverse mortgages can all help cover assisted living costs.

In many cases, assisted living just might cost less than staying at home.

 

Assisted Living Myth #4 — If I Move, Things Will Get Worse

Some seniors are worried that if they move to assisted living, they will get older and sicker faster. Whether your parent fears receiving poor care or being neglected by friends and family, you can put their fears to rest.

In recent years, there has been a movement toward person-centered care. High-quality assisted living communities provide hands-on human touch, lots of activities, and care directed toward the individual.

Research shows that a person’s quality of life actually improves after a move to assisted living thanks to the social environment and family involvement:

  • Living at home can be isolating. Assisted living communities provide an environment for seniors to thrive and gain their independence back by getting active and social once again.
  • Caregiving places financial, emotional, and physical stress on the caregiver, which strains their relationships with their loved one. Assisted living will allow you to spend more time enjoying your relationship with your parent instead of taking care of them.

Remind your parent that assisted living is where seniors go to maintain the quality of life to which they are accustomed.

As you talk about assisted living with your parent — something you may have been thinking about for a while — keep in mind that the idea may be brand new to them. Give your parent time to get used to the idea and process this change.

Knowing these common myths and fears ahead of time will allow you to address them honestly and thoughtfully, and having information about how they’ll benefit from assisted living can make having “The Talk” easier.

For more insight into how to handle difficult conversations with a parent or your siblings about assisted living, download our eBook Having “The Talk” with Your Parent.

 

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    This guide provides tips and ideas on downsizing, what to pack and how to make the transition smooth for your senior parent.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    As you help them transition to a new stage of life, it helps to be prepared with answers to their questions and concerns.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    This checklist will help to make sure you are getting the most out of your visit to The Arbors.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    If you’re unsure what Assisted Living looks like in real life, whether there is a difference with nursing homes or a desire to see how community life unfolds, then this guide is exactly what you need.

    A guide to discover the Care Team and a Typical Day in Assisted Living.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Have you decided that assisted living is the best option for your elderly parent, and now are feeling overwhelmed on how to begin your search for the right community?

    This guide will go over what you need to know before you make a decision.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Are you considering assisted living for yourself or a loved one but are hesitant about the cost? Assisted living costs, services and amenities vary greatly among the last and most expensive communities, and costs are higher in some states than others.

    This guide will answer questions you may have about the costs of assisted living and recommend resources to help you pay for it.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Talking to your aging parent about moving to an assisted living community isn’t easy.

    Often, many adult children avoid bringing it up because it can be a sensitive topic.

    This guide will provide you with helpful tips and insight on how to have a productive conversation with your parent and siblings regarding your parent’s future.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Difficult behaviors in elderly adults are very common. They may be an expression of frustration your loved one feels or a symptom of early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

    This guide will provide you with skills and knowledge on how to handle difficult behaviors your aging parent may be experiencing.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Becoming a family caregiver can be a rewarding experience. It also has its challenges.

    There are many questions to answer before making the decision to take care of a loved one.

    This guide will provide answers to questions you may have on this topic.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Is your parent or loved one depressed, or just in a bad mood?

    What does medication and illness have to do with depression?

    How can you help? In this guide, you will be provided with answers to the difficult questions you may have about depression.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Has your aging parent recently lost interest in activities they used to enjoy? Have you noticed a change in their mood and behavior?

    This guide will provide you with resources and tools on how to identify depression, what are the common causes of depression, and how to promote mental health in your aging loved one.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Does your loved one need more support than what they are getting? Would they benefit from some assistance with daily activities?

    In this guide, you’ll find answers to the most common questions asked about assisted living.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Where do you start searching for assisted living or memory care communities?

    What qualities in a community should you look for? How do you know you made the right decision?


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Has your dad stopped getting together for lunches or outings with friends or visits with neighbors? Have you stopped enjoying time with your parents because you’re a caregiver?

    Choosing an assisted living community is a big decision. Learn how to find the right one for you and your loved one.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    No one ever plans to be sick or disabled, and disasters, man-made or natural, can happen at any time, anywhere.

    Yet older adults are among the most vulnerable during a crisis. That’s why it’s critical that seniors, and those who care for them, prepare for emergencies.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Moving to assisted living is a life-changing event.

    This guide provides tips and ideas on downsizing, what to pack and how to make the transition smooth for your senior parent.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this eBook, you’ll learn how to talk with family and friends about caregiving challenges, how to deal with a parent who is resistant to help, how to get more caregiving help from your siblings, and how to keep your job while caregiving.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Have you had to cut back your hours at work to care for your mom? Are you worried about administering medications or injections?

    Have you stopped getting together with friends, either because you don’t have the time or you’re too exhausted? Are you becoming the invisible second patient?


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this guide, you’ll learn about the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, including the early symptoms of dementia; the seven stages of dementia and the symptoms that typically accompany each one; and the signs it’s time to start exploring your memory care options.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    In this guide, you’ll learn about the difference between assisted living and memory care, how health care professionals are trained in dementia care, common features of a memory care community, and questions you should ask when exploring your memory care options.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Navigating adult sibling relationships can be a challenge, but coming together for the sake of your parent is important.

    In this guide, you’ll learn about common sibling conflicts that arise when caring for parents, strategies for getting siblings on board, and where to turn to for help.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    Assisted living can be a touchy subject. No matter how you approach it, your parent is likely to have objections to something.

    As you help them transition to a new stage of life, it helps to be prepared with answers to their questions and concerns.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    A Guide to the Most Common Family Caregiver Challenges Associated with Caring for an Aging Parent.

    You’ll learn about the true costs of being a family caregiver, common family conflicts that can occur when caring for parents, and some of the unexpected challenges of caregiving.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    This checklist will help to make sure you are getting the most out of your visit to The Arbors.

    The list details what important questions to ask during your visit so you are able to make an enlightened choice and find the best assisted living community for your needs.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


    If you’re unsure what Assisted Living looks like in real life, whether there is a difference with nursing homes or a desire to see how community life unfolds, then this guide is exactly what you need.

    A guide to discover the Care Team and a Typical Day in Assisted Living.


    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Cost Comparison guide

    You’re probably wondering how much the different senior living options compare to your current situation.
    If you do, then this guide is exactly what you need.


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    The Arbors / Ivy has been awarded 2023 Reader Raves Award as Best Assisted Living Community