As a parent grows older and their need for assistance increases, adult children often begin to explore their options. Their goal is to find a senior care solution that allows a parent to live their best quality of life. Unfortunately, wanting the best for a senior loved one and knowing how to find it are two very different things.
For many seniors, an assisted living community offers the best of all worlds: independence, personal care, life enrichment, and around-the-clock support.
8 Things That Might Surprise You About Assisted Living
Here are a few things you might not know about assisted living communities.
1. Assisted living communities aren’t nursing homes
Some older adults have outdated ideas about senior housing. They often think an assisted living community is just a fancier version of a nursing home. In fact, assisted living communities are a completely different level of care. These residences are thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of older adults. The ultimate goal of an assisted living community is to provide residents with just the right amount of care and support to safely maintain their independence.
2. Assisted living is a cost effective solution
Another persistent myth is that assisted living is only for the wealthy. The reality is that assisted living communities can be a cost-effective solution for many seniors. So many of the expenses an older adult incurs at home—-utilities, groceries, lawn care, and transportation—are included in the monthly fees.
3. Funding solutions are available
There are options every family should explore to make financing senior living a little easier. Long-term care insurance policies often cover assisted living. The Aid & Attendance is a pension for qualifying veterans and their surviving spouses. Life settlement companies frequently purchase seniors’ life insurance policies for rates higher than the surrender value. The team at your local Five Star Senior Living community can help you investigate these options and others when you visit.
4. Residents set their own daily schedules
One common fear shared by many older adults is that they give up their independence if they move to a senior living community. The truth is residents in assisted living communities maintain both their privacy and their independence. They set their own schedules each and every day. Residents do so with the knowledge that caregivers are nearby to provide support when it is needed.
5. Assisted living communities each have their own personality
Once you visit a few different assisted living communities, you quickly begin to realize they aren’t all alike. Each one has its own unique personality. Some are more formal. Residents dress for dinner which is served in a luxurious dining room. Other communities are more relaxed and casual. Your goal should be to find one that looks and feels like a place your senior loved one would be comfortable calling home.
6. Features, services, and amenities vary widely
It’s also important to know that every assisted living community has its own unique features, services, and amenities. Those little details can make a big difference in how a senior feels about the community. For example, some assisted living communities offer a wide variety of flexible transportation services, while others have a more structured program. Wellness programs, concierge support, and beauty/barber shops are other popular services that can vary from community to community.
7. Life enrichment programs improve quality of life
Another myth is that older adults who move to assisted living will be bored without much to occupy their time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Residents of assisted living communities have an opportunity to reconnect with old passions and master new ones. From art classes to game nights and community outings, there are life enrichment programs designed to nurture the body, mind, and spirit.
8. Furry friends are often welcome
We know how important four-legged family members are to many seniors. Some assisted living communities welcome pets. Talk with each community you might be considering to learn what restrictions, if any, they have regarding the size and weight of your senior loved one’s pet.
Visit Five Star to Learn More
With more than 270 communities across 30 states, there is likely a Five Star Senior Living community near you. Call us today to set up a time to learn more about the benefits of assisted living.