Dispelling the Most Common Fears About Senior Living
December 8, 2022
While it’s natural for anyone to have some trepidation about what the future holds as we age, for older adults who are faced with it sooner than later, those feelings may really start to take hold. Particularly when the time comes to consider senior living. Not only is it emotional to think about leaving home, but there are also some common fears associated with the move. In fact, we find this is one of the main reasons senior living is often put off as long as possible. But the reality is that these fears about senior living are in large part based on misperceptions; specifically, stigmas that are not true of today’s communities. We’ll dispel them here.
Common Fears About Senior Living
Many residents say they wish they would have made the move to senior living sooner and we’re finding more older adults are doing so while completely healthy. Why? Because the reality is that senior living communities have tremendous benefits that are specifically designed to help you thrive like maintenance-free living, plenty of amenities, and a lifestyle focused on wellness. Specifically, here are some common fears about senior living and how easily communities like ours can dispel them.
Loss of independence - One of the fears about senior living is that a move will be a tipping point to losing your independence entirely. However, many are surprised to find that they are actually more independent after they move. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, the environment fosters independence by providing residents with as much choice as possible from accommodations to support services to how they spend each day. Two, in senior living, everything is right outside your door and support is always at hand should you need it so you don’t have to feel like you’re burdening friends, family, and/or neighbors if you need help. We’ve found this helps our residents to feel more empowered and comfortable than they were at home.
Having to depend on others - This one goes hand and in hand with the fear of losing independence. Certainly, no one wants to need help with daily activities but needing a little support doesn’t prevent you from being able to live life to its fullest. At least not in our community! We tailor our specialized care program to your specific wants and needs to make sure we provide just the right amount of support. That allows our skilled staff to be there when you need us, without slowing you down.
Being isolated and lonely - Of all the fears about senior living, this is perhaps the biggest misperception. Most people don’t realize that isolation and loneliness are often much more common at home, particularly among older adults who live alone. The social opportunities available in senior living communities like ours are actually one of the biggest draws for families. Not only are friends, neighbors, and care staff always nearby, but we also offer a range of activities to help you stay active, connected, and engaged with life. Our monthly calendar includes social events, exercise programs, classes, clubs, live music and entertainment, game nights, group outings, religious services, volunteer opportunities, and more!
Running out of money - Most people assume that staying at home will be less expensive than senior living which is why the cost is also one of the top fears about senior living. But the truth is that in some cases senior living actually costs less than home. It’s pretty easy to find out if this might be the case for you. Just make sure you’re comparing your total monthly costs at home, not just your mortgage or rent, to the community’s monthly rent. Why is that important? Because your total monthly cost of living at home also includes food, utilities, home maintenance, property taxes, insurance, and entertainment as well. Not to mention the cost of care at home if need that. All of these costs ARE typically included in the monthly cost of senior living! Plus, there are also a number of options that can help offset the cost of senior living to make it even easier to stretch your budget.
Starting the Senior Living Conversation
If it’s your parent that’s hesitating about senior living, you may be wondering how can you help convince them of the benefits. First, it’s important to listen to their concerns and take their feelings to heart. Having patience will also go a long way toward them feeling comfortable opening up to you. However, what’s really key is that you discuss the future in a way that shows you’re on their side and want to collaborate to dispel these fears rather than dictate a plan of action. One approach is to ask questions such as:
How can we help you stay independent?
Would it be helpful to have your meals prepared?
Do you enjoy driving as much as you used to?
Have you had the opportunity to connect with any friends recently?