What Is Senior Living Really Like?
A Genworth Financial study shows that 7 in 10 Americans 65+ will need long term care. More than 90% have not talked about it with their spouse, aging parents or adult children.
If we’re honest, we can be pretty good at coming up with excuses to not do things that might be good for us. The journey towards senior living can be a long one filled with difficult conversations, challenges to overcome, homes to sell and discerning myth from fact. Here are some of the top myths surrounding senior living and some facts to consider.
Myth: I’ll lose my independence.
70% of residents and 75% of their family members are more likely to report a good quality of life versus those still living at home
Many seniors find their lives to be more independent in a senior living community than if they stayed home.
The facts are:
- You’re free to come and go as you please.
- The goal of most senior living communities is to keep you as dependent as your health allows you to be.
- You learn how to better care for yourself as you get older.
- Driving is encouraged, parking is available. Bring your car!
- Transportation available for shopping, appointments, doctor visits, trips, etc.
Myth: I’ll have to give up the things I love and my favorite hobbies.
64% of family members notice social well-being improvements in their loved one.
Not only will you be able to continue doing what you love in senior living, you’re likely to pick up new interests and hobbies. The facts are:
- With 30+ activities offered a week at Luther Manor, most residents have a hard time figuring out what to do day to day.
- Activities can be catered to your interests and hobbies.
- The only thing you’ll need to give up are chores, yard work, and home maintenance!
Myth: The food in senior living is terrible.
73% of family members notice nutritional improvements in their loved ones.
Everyone is concerned about their dining experience, no matter where it is. Luther Manor has dining options to suit everyone: Order direct from a menu, get a 5-course meal in our dining rooms, grab a sandwich in the deli or simply enjoy a meal at home. Our menus change as often as 4 times a year and it’s the residents’ input that helps us determine how the menus change! The facts are:
- Choice and variety is king in senior living.
- Taste is just as important as nutrition.
- Communities are considerate of health needs and restrictions.
- There are dine in or take out options.
- Room delivery is available.
Myth: I’ll never be able to downsize or sell my home.
Everyone worries about it, but it can be done! You just need to decide to do it. The facts are:
- The current housing market is the best it’s been for sellers. Now is the time to sell!
- If you really take a look at things in your home, you’ll find the things that are essential and what you can do away with.
- Senior Move Managers are available to help you think through the details and find new homes for what you decide to leave behind.
- Many communities are open to letting residents change and add to their apartment as one desires – after all, it’s your home!
Myth: My kids are fine taking care of me.
A Genworth Financial study shows that 7 in 10 Americans 65+ will need long term care. More than half reported their greatest fear is being a burden on their family due to a long-term care health issue.
A move into a senior living community can be a gift to both seniors and their adult children. Rather than the worry and stress of being a caregiver, parents can be parents and children can be children again. Many residents report improvements in stress, diet, exercise, careers and family relationships.
Myth: I can’t afford it. It’s too expensive.
Costs can vary but in many communities, the cost of living can oftentimes be less than remaining at home. It’s important to do a cost comparison of your home vs. senior living. Make sure to include costs associated with increased need for health care (in-home health care, retrofitting your house, etc.) The facts are:
- Senior living costs include housing, home maintenance, utilities, food, entertainment, transportation, etc.
- You’ll pay no more mortgages or property taxes.
- There are options for payment (you can rent or own).
- Assets that can be used for payment include your home, investments, long-term care insurance, veteran benefits, etc.
- Many non-profit communities have a Foundation to assist with costs where needed.
Myth: Everyone is sick or dying. It’s depressing.
44% of family members notice physical health improvements in their loved ones.
It can be hard to come to grips with the reality of aging, losing one’s independence, or leaving the place that has always been home. Studies have shown that seniors stay healthier, more active and live longer in retirement communities than in their own home. The facts are:
- Many senior living communities have regular wellness and fitness programs to keep residents active and healthy.
- There are safety checks, but otherwise you maintain your independence.
- When help is needed, 24-hour care is available.
- Doctors, dentists, pharmaceutical help, specialists are in-house. No need to go anywhere else!
Myth: I’m not ready. I don’t need it
People that have end-of-life discussions prior to needing it save 1/3 of the cost as those who don’t. The facts are:
- Senior living isn’t just for people who can’t take of themselves anymore.
- You want to make the move while you have the choice.
- It’s better to be in the driver’s seat and do it when you can, not once a crisis hits.
- Most senior living residents wish they would have made the move years earlier.