What is Assisted Living Really Like?
Answers to 4 Common Concerns About Assisted Living
Having “the talk” about moving to an assisted living community can be difficult. There are a variety of reasons why you or your loved ones may be hesitant to move into a retirement community. Any move is an adjustment, but re-locating to an assisted living community has its benefits, too. So, what are the common fears of assisted living, and how can you counter them?
Will I Be Lonely?
Many people associate senior living communities with isolation and loneliness. If this is a fear you have – don’t worry! Assisted living communities provide countless opportunities to get involved in activities, social events and educational courses. This is a great way to get to know other people in your community and make new friends.
Another common concern is that you’ll lose time with your family and friends. Most assisted communities encourage family and friends to join for certain events and activities. And of course, you can have your family over to visit! Your freedom and independence is important. While there are time frames when meals are available and activities are happening, your time is still your own in assisted living. Which leads us to the next common concern…
Will I Lose My Independence?
The short answer is no – you won’t lose your independence living in an assisted living community. This is a common myth, and it’s understandable that most people think it’s true. The beauty of assisted living communities is that if you need extra help with daily activities, you can get it easily. However, you don’t need to accept help where you don’t need it. Your care is based on your needs, and the help you receive is up to you!
In terms of your personal and daily life, you’ll have the same independence to go about your daily activities as you did on your own. Most communities offer their own means of transportation, so you can get to where you need to go safely. And while meals may be planned by staff, they are freshly prepared and emphasize variety and quality.
When it comes to your living arrangements, you’re encouraged to decorate your space as you would normally. This includes hanging up family pictures, making your bed with your own sheets and choosing the paint color on your walls.
Will I Be Able to Afford It?
You may be concerned about the affordability of being in an assisted living community. While assisted living is typically less expensive than skilled nursing communities, it might be more than what you’re used to. There are options, like long-term care insurance or long-term care insurance riders, that you can invest in to help offset these costs. You may also be wondering if programs like Medicare and Medicaid will help provide coverage for these expenses. They do, but under certain circumstances and up to a certain amount.
Medicare will only pay for long-term care services if you need skilled services or rehabilitative care. This means that if you qualify for Medicare coverage, your skilled nursing stay may be covered for a maximum of 100 days. You may be able to receive long-term care services at home, though this usually only applies for a short amount of time. You’ll also have to pay out-of-pocket for long-term care services that are not covered by public or private health insurance. According to the Center for Medicare Services, there may be a change to Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans that will allow private insurers to include long-term care benefits as part of their Medicare Advantage plans. Though this change could be beneficial for some Medicare recipients, there are differences in the plans available that you may want to familiarize yourself with before choosing.
Medicaid may pay for a large chunk of long-term care costs, but only if you qualify. To qualify, your income must fall under a certain level and there may be state-by-state qualifications you have to meet. There are other programs, like the Older Americans Act and the Department of Veteran Affairs, that may help pay for long-term care services. But, like with Medicaid overall, there are certain qualifications you have to meet.
Will I Be Able to Make Friends and Meet Someone Special?
Yes, you will absolutely be able to make friends and meet new people, if you want to! The different activities and social outings are the perfect time to add to your inner circle, or meet that special someone. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Ask the community’s staff if you can help out with activities or contribute to the party planning committee. They’ll be happy to have your insight, and you’ll get a backstage pass to all of the fun social gatherings!
- Start a book club that meets every two weeks or so. You can select the first book, and ask to put up fliers to advertise the first meeting.
- See if you can create a volunteer group to go out into your community once a month. You can volunteer at soup kitchens, animal shelters or farmers markets while enjoying time with newfound friends.
Moving to an assisted living community is a big decision to make. But there are plenty of benefits to be had, besides the extra help you’ll be able to receive. Plus, at Senior Living Communities we have a 100% money back guarantee for your first six months. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our communities directly!