Bashing the Top Assisted Living Myths

Man Staying In Nursing Home

For many seniors today, the idea of heading to an assisted living facility can be an overwhelming prospect. This is because there are several misconceptions about assisted living out there and unfortunately a great deal of stigma surrounding assisted living communities. However, most of these preconceived notions are completely false. This is why it is so important that seniors, their loved ones and their caregivers understand that many of these ideas are myths and have no truth behind them. We are bashing some of these top assisted living myths and providing the truth about these myths.

Myth: Moving to Assisted Living Means Not Getting to See Family

Truth: While assisted living communities can provide seniors with the care that they need, it doesn’t mean that their family members can’t help or that they can’t come and see their senior loved one all of the time. Most assisted living communities offer family members with complete access to their loved one. Seniors can get visitors as they need and they can leave to go see families as they want. It is important to just think about this move as moving to a new apartment or home instead of moving away from family.

Myth: Moving to Assisted Living Means Losing Privacy

Truth: Being in assisted living does not mean that seniors are losing their independence or their privacy. Seniors can still stay very private, they can choose to leave or stay in their apartment as they need and most importantly they can choose to live life the way that they want. Seniors can lock their doors and still have all of the privacy they want in their apartment, the decision is completely up to them.

Myth: Assisted Living Communities are the Same as Nursing Homes

Truth: An assisted living community isn’t the same as a nursing home. Some seniors feel as though moving to an assisted living community means they will be rolled around in a wheelchair all day without having any fun. This is completely false. Assisted living facilities offer much more independence than many seniors assume. Seniors can still have a lot of fun and a lot of independence and they can be in a very social community of other active and engaging seniors. Community life for seniors often means that they are more active and more engaged as they have an opportunity to socialize and be around their friends and peers.

Myth: Living in an Assisted Living Community Means Abandoning Hobbies

Truth: Just because seniors are moving to an assisted living community, it doesn’t mean that they can’t continue to enjoy their hobbies. Whether they belonged to social clubs, went to the gym or loved to garden, seniors who are living in assisted living can still continue to operate their lives as normal and continue to enjoy all of their favorite hobbies.

Understanding the truth behind these myths can help seniors and their loved ones make a smart decision about assisted living while understanding all of the benefits that these communities can offer.

Senior Citizen Proms- The New Trend in Assisted Living Communities

Two happy senior citizens dancing and smiling in a dancing class

For millions of high school students from around the globe, spring time means time for big dresses, tuxedos, limousines and corsages as prom season gets underway. For many high school seniors, prom is one of the most memorable nights of their entire life. However, now many senior citizens are looking to capture the same magic they had in their own high school proms with a trend that is sweeping the senior citizen community; senior citizen proms.

Just as the name suggests, these “proms” are simply a chance for seniors living in communities to get together, dress up and recreate their old proms, with all of the pomp and circumstance included. There is dancing, punch, dresses and in most cases, even a prom king and queen by the end of the night.

This is something that is spreading among assisted living communities and it is a great way for seniors to not only have a little fun and some social interactions, but it can also provide some really important cognitive stimulation for seniors as well. For many senior citizens, the idea of recreating a prom not only brings back good memories from their past, but it acts as a way for them to recall memories from their past as well. This can seem like a relatively simple notion, but for many seniors battling memory issues and dementia recalling their own proms can be used as a tool to improve their long-term memory. Bringing back photos and memories from their own experiences can help many seniors improve their own recall skills.

Above all things, this “senior prom” trend is providing many seniors living in retirement homes and assisted living communities with a new chance to get out of their comfort zone, try new things and have some much-needed social time. With more seniors than ever battling issues with isolation, loneliness and depression, it is so important for older adults to have a little extra social time to boost their spirits and help them live a balanced and healthy life.

For those living in retirement communities that haven’t caught on to this trend yet, it is really a rather simple type of party to throw. Many senior communities host their events right on their premises, with others planning larger “field trips” of sorts to bring all of their residents to new and exciting venues in their area. Most communities will also, just like most high schools, pick a theme for the evening and create decorations and magical backdrops to go along with the feeling of the evening.

While it may be a little on the silly side for some, the senior citizen prom trend is one of the fastest growing trends in the senior community. With more and more assisted living facilities catching on and throwing their own proms, it is safe to say that this is one senior living trend that won’t be going anywhere soon. Besides, who doesn’t love a good excuse to dress to the nines for an evening of dancing and fun?

Put on the Wait List? Here is What to Know About Waiting for a Spot in Assisted Living

Senior man communicating with female receptionist while women si

Each and every day, all around the country, there are countless senior citizens and their families who decide to enter into an assisted living facility to get the care and attention that they need. However, with more and more baby boomers transitioning to senior care, many of these communities just simply can’t house every individual who wants to reside in their facility. This is why each and every day there are countless seniors who are also put on what is known as the “waiting list” for these assisted living facilities.

This can be very frustrating for seniors and their families, especially those who are in desperate need of 24-hour care. If you or your family member has found yourself on a waiting list at one of these assisted living facilities, here are some important facts you need to know about being told you need to “put your name on the list.”

  • Make sure you read the fine print. Different assisted living facilities are going to have different policies about wait lists. Not all communities are the same. Some place will give you 24 hours to say “yes” to an available unit, while others may hold a place longer until you can make arrangements. Make sure you go over the details before putting yourself on the list.
  • Be ready to pay a deposit. Most waiting lists require a significant deposit for those who want to be on the waiting list. The good news is, most of these deposits are completely refundable.
  • You can consider moving into a facility at an apartment you don’t necessarily want and then getting on another waiting list until the right unit becomes available. Sometimes, this is the best tactic available for those who want to make sure they can get in somewhere in a certain facility, before they worry about getting into the right
  • You can typically reserve the unit you want. Most facilities allow potential residents to get on the waiting list for a specific unit, if you can wait, you don’t necessarily have to take the first apartment that becomes available when it is your turn.
  • There are sometimes internal wait lists to compete with. You may be a certain number on a facility’s external wait list for an apartment or room, but it doesn’t mean that you are as close in line as you think. Many facilities also have internal wait lists of residents who are waiting to move units or to move to a different specialty care ward.

When visiting any assisted living facility, it is typically smart to assume that you are going to have to get on a wait list. Nearly half of assisted living facilities today are at capacity and it can be almost impossible for them to give potential residents an exact timeline on when a spot is going to open up. While waiting lists are usually par for the course when it comes to finding assisted living facilities. However, with a better understanding of what these waiting lists entail and how the lists commonly work can only help you be better prepared to handle the wait list process.

New Indian American Assisted Living Facility Highlights the Trend of Niche Senior Communities

Mullti-ethnic senior group of people

Assisted living communities have become a safe haven for many seniors today who are looking for a place to spend their golden years in style and comfort. Long gone are the day when assisted living facilities came with a stigma or were seen as the same thing as a nursing home. Today, these communities are much more resort-like than hospital-like and they are increasingly able to provide residents with more amenities and features than they ever thought possible.

These senior living facilities are not only becoming more posh and exciting, but there has also been an emerging trend of new niche senior communities designed to adhere to the needs of specific types of residents. Recently, an Indian American senior living facility opened in Tavares, Florida, and was established with the goal of providing a comfortable place for seniors from India to retire in style.

The ambiance, food and even the religious practices are all based in Indian culture, so that Indian Americans can make certain they are receiving everything they need to retire comfortably while still maintaining their cultural practices. The facility is designed to foster a feeling of belonging in their community and to make sure that seniors not only have access to the services they need but that they can enjoy activities and games that are part of their culture as well.

This new facility, known as ShantiNiketan is just one example of dozens of new niche assisted living facilities that are popping up all over the country. As more and more seniors decide to spend their later years in assisted living, these niche facilities are becoming even more popular. In addition to cultural-specific assisted living communities, there has been an increase in LGBT assisted living centers as well. These communities are meant to help gay, lesbian and transgendered seniors feel more comfortable in their surroundings as they enjoy life in assisted living.

Other trends include assisted living facilities specifically for seniors with certain interests or passions such as music, art or golf. At the Long Beach Senior Arts Colony, creative seniors can enjoy a variety of activities, art glasses, put on performances and even display their work in the community’s own gallery. Other communities are catered to those who have an interest in health and wellness as they retire and offer a plethora of healthy eating options, exercise classes and more; all aimed at the health-conscious senior. There are also facilities popping up for retired military and even retired professional athletes. While they may be different on the outside, the goal of all of these communities is to ensure they can adhere to their resident’s individual needs and passions and that all of their resident’s have access to a like-minded community of peers.

While there are many seniors who would feel perfectly comfortable in a more general type of assisted living facility, for some seniors these niche communities are just what they need to feel comfortable and confident in their new senior-friendly home.

Common Mistakes When Searching for an Assisted Living Community

Making the decision to move your loved one into an assisted living community can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience, but the decision process does not simply end here. Once you and your loved one have determined that it is best for them to move into an assisted living community, you still have to select a facility that will meet all of your loved one’s needs, provide him or her with safety and care, and help them thrive during this next phase of their life.

While we know that people make these decisions with the very best of intentions, here are a few of the most common mistakes that we see when people are searching for an assisted living community for a family member or loved one.

Choosing for Themselves Rather than Their Loved One

Everyone has different tastes, and in many cases, an adult child’s thoughts about what constitutes a perfect assisted living community will vary significantly from their parent or other loved one who will actually be living there. These differences could encompass everything from aesthetic qualities of a community to services offered to the level of interaction that will take place with staff and other community members.

As such, it’s important to get a realistic picture of what community features are important to your loved one, and to do your best to adhere to your loved one’s wishes, rather than your own, especially as you start attending in-person facility tours.

Insisting on a Facility Close to Their Home

A lot of family members will want to choose an assisted living community that is close to where they live themselves, thinking that a closer proximity will encourage them to visit more frequently. Unfortunately, as we all know, life has a way of interrupting our best laid and well-intended plans. While this might not be a big deal in every instance, some families will choose an inferior facility that is located nearby instead of a better facility located further away.  In cases like this, it’s important to continually remind yourself that ultimately, your loved one’s wellbeing is all that matters. If the best facility for them is close to you, then great! However, if this is not the case, you’ll want to make sure that you place your priorities in the right order.

Not Planning for the Future

Choosing an assisted living community is a stressful experience for both you and your loved one, and it’s not a process you are going to want to repeat every 2-5 years. As such, it’s best to think about this decision in the long-term, making sure that whatever facility you choose will be able to provide for your loved one’s current AND future needs.

For example, mobility may not be much of a concern for your loved one at the present time, but a lot can change in just a year or two. As such, this is something you will want to keep in mind as you look for an appropriate community, especially if you believe that this is likely to be a concern in the future.

Making Decisions Based on the Wrong Things

A fresh coat of paint and impressive staging can cover a multitude of sins in an assisted living facility, and it’s important that you look past the visuals when choosing the right place for your loved one. While you certainly want to take aesthetics into account when choosing the right community, this should be FAR down on your list after carefully examining the level of care your loved one will receive, investigating any possible complaints against the facility or recorded violations, and ensuring that the services offered by the facility can meet all of your loved one’s current and future needs.

Trying to Make this Decision without Any Help

No one expects you to be an expert at choosing an assisted living community, especially if this is the first time you’ve had a need to do so. As such, you should not hesitate to reach out for experienced help and guidance with this process. There are a number of free resources online that will help you look into the any recorded deficiencies with or penalties imposed against a given facility, like the “Nursing Home Inspect” tool provided by ProPublica. Additionally, our team here at SeniorAdvice.com has created a free checklist for what to look out for when touring an assisted living facility.