Aging Well

The Eight Myths about Senior Living Facilities


The myths of senior living are ubiquitous.

Thanks to a 24-hour news cycle, outrageous daytime TV shows, and a generally negative stereotype, retirement homes and senior living facilities often bear the brunt of false allegations and rumors.

Debunking the myths of senior living is critical for families looking to broach the subject of a move with their loved one. Here is the truth about eight of the most common myths surrounding retirement living centers:

1.“You lose all your independence at a retirement home.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. The facilities are designed to be easily navigable so seniors can move with ease throughout the home. In addition, transportation is provided at retirement homes to allow residents to become more independent and stay active in the community without the worry of driving. The main advantage of a senior living facility is the access to immediate medical help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.

2.“I’ll have to give up my hobbies and my friends.”

False.  Almost every senior living facility offers recreational activities, workshops, tours, social clubs, and events and day trips.  The sense of community is actually enhanced at an independent living center, because seniors find many more of their generational peers nearby. It is actually quite common for new residents to find themselves talking to people they haven’t seen in years and rekindling long-lost friendships. They are also often relieved to discover their existing group of friends still remain an important part of their lives.

3.“Senior living facilities are nothing more than nursing homes.”

The difference between a senior living facility, an assisted living facility, and a nursing homes can be confusing. While most retirement facilities contain personal care services, true senior facilities offer independent living. Assisted living offers just that—assistance with medications, meals, housekeeping and daily living. Nursing homes provide a level of care that is much more intensive. The quality of cleanliness of rooms and meals does not depend on the type of facility, but the people running it.

4.“It’s cheaper to stay here at home.”

This is a common misconception frequently perpetuated by seniors looking for any reason to remain in familiar surroundings. When you start to add up all the costs associated with living home alone, however, the numbers quickly begin to favor retirement communities. Besides the financial costs, the isolation of in-home living and the missing sense of community that goes with it can create problems that extend well beyond the pocketbook.

5.“Retirement communities are like everything else—you get what you pay for.”