Worried About a Move to Senior Living? Don’t Be!
The vast majority of our society's fears about senior living communities are inaccurate. Over the past decade, baby boomers have reinvented what senior living really means. Today there is a wide range of state-of-the-art senior living communities, from independent living to assisted living for those needing day-to-day help.
These options all aim to provide seniors with a lifestyle tailored to their individual interests and needs while offering the necessary care to remain mentally, physically, and socially healthy.
If you, a parent, or a senior loved one are worried about making a move to senior living, the following information may help allay some of those fears.
"I'll be bored."
With the activities and amenities offered by today's senior living communities, there's no time to be bored. Senior housing has evolved to offer everything from field trips and outdoor excursions to fitness and personal enrichment classes.
"I'll drain my finances."
Yes, senior living can seem financially daunting, but if you're already thinking about how to afford the care, you're ahead of the curve. With some financial planning and maybe a little help from Social Security or VA benefits, senior living communities just might cost less than staying at home.
"I'm afraid I won't receive the best care for me."
There's far more to senior living than the stereotype of adult children dropping off their parents with random strangers. When it's time to move to senior living, the decision-making process should involve the entire family, and your senior loved one should be just as comfortable with their new home as you are moving them there. Caregivers should maintain regular contact with senior loved ones, particularly in the weeks after the first move.
"I will get old and sick faster."
Whether you're old or young, it's being alone or isolated that leads to anxiety and depression, while the social contact a senior living community provides is key to better health and quality of life. If a senior loved one is already ill with Alzheimer's disease, for example, memory care offers daily stimulation, customized care, and planned activities, all of which can actually slow down the progress of an illness or even improve behavior and health.
"I will lose my independence."
While some seniors fear that senior living is equal to a loss of independence, the truth is in fact, much the opposite. If you choose assisted living, you'll have help with cleaning, cooking, and other chores that only become more difficult over time. What senior living offers is greater freedom with your precious time. To make that time happy and rewarding, communities provide ample opportunity for on-site social activities and transportation around the area when you need it.
"I won't be able to control my daily activities or life."
Moving to a new residence and letting go of long-held habits of daily life are often realities of getting older, but they can be difficult and require a major adjustment. Take your loved one's concerns seriously, and don't minimize their feelings. The fact is, assisted living can be a necessary and freeing step for both seniors and their families. Assisted living may be a good option if it is already too difficult for a senior to care for herself independently or for caregivers to provide the necessary help. The emphasis is on safety, security, independence, and privacy, enabling each resident to have the care they need without compromising individual dignity.
"People will forget about me."
Worrying about being alone is natural, especially if you define yourself by those relationships you value. However, moving into senior living doesn't mean you'll lose those relationships. In fact, you just might value them even more. At the same time, a senior community provides new venues for social contact, not to mention onsite help when there's an emergency.