The number of 65-and-older Americans will reach about 95 million in 2060, almost twice that in 2018 at 52 million. The projected rise is due to the long life spans of baby boomers approaching their golden years.
What does this Mean?
There will be a higher demand for elder care services to provide for the needs of senior citizens. These needs include long-term, residential, hospice, and home care. Many of these aged populations rely on assisted living facilities (ALF) or nursing homes.
Some might think these are not the best options for their elderly loved ones. Nursing homes have been getting some bad press, and many believe ALFs are the same as nursing homes. However, that is a common misconception.
Let’s examine the most common misconceptions about ALFs.
An Assisted Living Facility is Another Name for a Nursing Home
Assisted living is a new concept for many people because it only became mainstream in the 1980s. The term “nursing home” was always used to refer to facilities for seniors requiring care. However, nursing homes differ critically from the more people-centered concept of ALFs.
Nursing homes are public or private residential facilities providing short-term rehabilitation or long-term personal or nursing care for seniors. In most cases, nursing home residents require 24-hour care.
On the other hand, assisted living facilities provide homes for older people or those with disabilities who are primarily self-sufficient. However, they may need help with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, meal preparation, bathing, and dressing.
Seniors in ALFs Need to Surrender their Independence
This statement is not true at all. Elderly persons at ALFs have the freedom to choose how they want to live and interact. Most ALF communities, like certain assisted living facilities in Las Vegas, offer daily programs and activities, but seniors decide if they wish to participate in them or not.
Seniors can drive, see their friends, and do many activities, much like when they lived in their homes. The difference is that assisted living gives them the support and security they need when needed. Seniors can focus on things they would like to do without fear or anxiety.
Living in these Residential Facilities costs an Arm and a Leg
Contrary to what people think, the costs of residing in an ALF are relatively reasonable. It all depends on what you need.
Many factors can affect the final price. These include the location and size of your residence and the number of seniors sharing the space. Add-ons such as 24-hour caregivers, security, prepared meals, and special arrangements can rack up the billables.
Some senior living communities have all-in rates covering all housing expenses, including security. However, you can choose to take care of these additional expenses yourself.
Since expenses tend to pile up as you grow older, the costs of living in your home or an ALF can be very close. The benefit of ALFs is the safety and security that comes with residing in a controlled environment.
Food in these Residential Communities is Awful
Many say that hospital food is terrible; the same goes for ALFs. That is not true. In most cases, food served in ALFs is of good quality.
They employ nutritionists to ensure balance meals that contain the recommended daily nutrients. The staff ensures residents get three meals a day and are on schedule. Additionally, ALF residents can choose to cook their own food.
There is no Privacy in ALFs
Nothing could be further from the truth. In assisted living, no one is constantly waiting around seniors’ homes expecting to be called for assistance. Personal and medical information receive the same legal protection as any healthcare facility.
These communities offer more privacy because the staff does not disturb the residents unless called. Their homes have telephones and TVs installed for their convenience. While the team may have house access, they only come in when residents permit it.
Only Disabled and Sick Seniors stay in Assisted Living Facilities
The staff in ALF communities are always ready to assist seniors with daily personal activities. However, that does not mean the residents are physically challenged or sick.
Seniors living in ALFS are still independent and active, participating in community activities and events. They have many opportunities to interact with fellow residents while remaining free to choose their activities. At the same time, they are secure in knowing someone is near in case assistance is needed.
An assisted living facility offers a stress-free and uncomplicated lifestyle in a controlled and vital environment. These misconceptions have kept many people from enjoying the benefits of assisted living. Visit Let’s Get Care if you are interested in aged care facilities.
You or your loved ones should consider all the points raised here and examine the benefits and drawbacks of an assisted living facility. Visit communities such as The Buckingham in Houston, Texas, demonstrating how ALFs can feel like home. Talk to the residents and staff to get a feel of the place. You might be amazed.