Where you live matters when you retire. Environment can play a role in everything from your health to the quality of your social connections. A senior living community can help you stay happy and healthy as you grow older.
Unfortunately, some popular and pervasive myths can keep older adults from making the move. They remain in their old home, despite the benefits and services offered at senior communities.
Let’s take a few minutes to bust some of the misconceptions that hold seniors back from making a move that has so many advantages.
Busting the Myths About Senior Living
1. Senior communities are sad and depressing.
If you’ve visited a senior living community, also referred to as a continuing care community, you know this isn’t true. Most are engaging, lively places where residents can be as busy as they choose to be each day.
The current generation of older adults has reinvented what retirement living and senior communities are all about. Hint: it’s more than just watching television and playing bingo. Residents have opportunities to participate in activities, family events, wellness programs, and more.
2. Only wealthy people can afford retirement communities.
Another persistent myth is that retirement communities are prohibitively expensive for the average American. Seniors who have paid off the mortgage on their house often believe it’s less expensive to stay there. The reality, however, is that aging in place isn’t necessarily less expensive. Just a few of the expenses they’ll incur are home maintenance and repairs, utilities, insurance payments, and taxes.
The average cost of in-home care was $23 per hour in 2019. If a senior needs a helping hand with daily activities such as grooming or bathing, the costs can add up quickly. Added to that is the cost for home modifications, such as building a ramp, installing a barrier-free shower, and widening doorways.
By contrast, the median annual cost of assisted living care, one of the most popular types of senior living, was $48,612 in 2019. In most assisted living communities, the monthly fees typically cover:
- Three well-balanced meals and healthy snacks each day
- Caregivers to assist with bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Emergency call systems and round-the-clock staff on-site
- Transportation services for appointments and outings
- Housekeeping and laundry services
- Medication reminders and assistance managing medications
- Daily life enrichment programs and wellness activities
3. The food is terrible.
Another misperception about these communities is that the food looks institutional and tastes awful. In most cases, it’s anything but terrible. Senior living communities often employ a chef and/or a nutritionist. Menus are designed to be both delicious and nutritious.
They also offer a variety of different options for enjoying meals. Quick bistros, informal coffee bars, and formal dining rooms are just a few of the most common.
4. There is a lack of meaningful activity.
Another falsehood is that the days are uneventful in a continuing care community. The truth is that today’s communities are hubs of activity. In some cases, residents participate in planned activities. They can also enjoy a number of informal gatherings and events, such as morning coffee in the lobby, working out in the fitness center, and planting flowers in the community garden.
Free Advice from a Care Advisor
If you or a loved one are starting the search for a senior community, one of our experienced care advisors can be of assistance. They know the local options and can help you find one that is the best fit. Call 800-304-8061 to get started!
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