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Assisted living allows seniors to prolong their active independence by providing needed help with certain aspects of daily living. It might be just one thing – like managing medications or bathing safely – or it might be several activities, including assistance with dressing or mobility. After all, every senior is different. Assisted living enables you to be yourself, on your own, as much as possible.

If you haven’t visited an assisted living community recently, you may not realize how much they have changed. Or just how much they have to offer. Considering the fact that more than 900,000 Americans reside in an assisted living community, it’s hard to believe that so many myths persist about what it’s like to live there. Let’s debunk five of the most common.

1. "Assisted living" is just a nicer name for "nursing home"

Years ago, there was no option other than a nursing home for seniors who needed assistance and didn’t have a family to take them in. Today’s seniors want and expect choices that fit their specific needs, so you can now find communities dedicated to different levels of care:

  •  Independent living caters to retirees who want community amenities instead of household chores and maintenance and who want to come and go as they please
  • Assisted living caters to those who are mostly independent but need help with some activities of daily living
  • Memory care provides a secure, nurturing home for those with developing Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
  • Skilled nursing serves patients with long-term medical conditions or increasing healthcare needs

Assisted living, done right, is not a facility but a true community with friendly neighbors, lots of things to do together or on your own, and the privacy of your own apartment when you want solitude.       

2. I have to leave all my belongings behind

You’re moving to your own personal apartment, and of course, you want to be surrounded by your own things! You’ll likely have to downsize, but the furniture, linens, clothing, decorations, etc., you see and use every day will be all yours.

3. I can't afford it

Rising property taxes or rent. Household maintenance and repairs, yard work, and ancillary monthly expenses such as utilities add up to a lot more than you may realize. Even more so if you’re hiring in-home help with household or personal care.

In assisted living, you pay a single inclusive monthly fee, though there may be an extra charge for certain extras. When you compare apples to apples, you may find assisted living is comparable to what you’re paying now – without the worries and work.  

4. The food is institutional

The Yum Factor is fundamental in assisted living communities.

It makes perfect sense. One of the most common issues for seniors (especially those living alone) is eating regularly and eating fully nutritious meals. Assisted living ensures you get three “squares” a day – meals and snacks that look appetizing and taste delicious to make sure you want to stay nourished. Many communities employ professional chefs to plan and create fine dining experiences, offering a wide variety of foods to appeal to every palate.

5. I won't know anyone

Nearly every senior has moved from one home to another during their lives. Most of us have moved multiple times, often to far-flung destinations. Moving expands friendship opportunities because you get to make new friends while staying in touch with those you’ve known for years. It’s the same with assisted living, with the added advantage of onsite activities and meals that make it super-easy to meet and get to know new people. You’ll be sharing your funniest stories in no time.

At Veranda of Pensacola, we call it “resort living” for a reason

Lots of great reasons, actually. Now that you know the facts, should you consider assisted living? This assessment will help you learn about your options and get personalized results in about four minutes. Naturally, we hope you’ll join us for resort-style assisted living at Veranda of Pensacola. Contact us soon to schedule a tour, meet some of our residents and, of course, share a tasty meal.

How to maintain your friendships after moving into senior living
How to maintain your friendships after moving into senior living
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?
What is the difference between assisted living and nursing homes?