Gone are the days when elder care meant moving to an institutional environment. Today there are thousands of communities designed around the needs of vibrant adults in their mature years, yet myths about senior assisted living persist.  Some believe moving to assisted living means a loss of privacy and living the life of an “old person.” Many worry they won’t be independent or be able to enjoy their favorite hobbies. However, California seniors who move to assisted living communities invariably find the move enhances their lifestyle and provides a full life that includes new friends and family visits.

1.  Myth: Senior Communities Are Sterile and Institutional

When retirees consider senior living options, many dismiss assisted living communities as efficient businesses that are much like nursing homes and have a hospital-like atmosphere. The reality is that many communities have a homey feel and include resort-like amenities. They are designed to be warm and welcoming. 

There’s a myth that life in an assisted living community is regimented, which is not true. While meals are scheduled, residents can enjoy activities as they please. Communities offer a host of planned individual and group activities, but seniors can also spend their time privately, reading, or enjoying other pastimes. 

2.  Myth:  Community Residents Lose Their Independence 

Senior living communities and assisted living homes strive to maximize seniors’ independence. Residents choose an individual or shared living space; someone else handles housekeeping and maintenance. This hassle-free lifestyle gives seniors free time to pursue their favorite interests. Communities also offer nutritious, inviting meals and include restaurant-style dining rooms.

Communities provide cultural and educational events residents can enjoy. There are also recreational programs that include field trips and games. Seniors can choose from a menu of options daily and still have peace of mind, knowing assistance is always nearby. Whether seniors are self-sufficient, need assistance, or require memory care services, trained staff help them thrive and remain as independent as possible.

3.  Myth:  Living Quarters Are Impersonal 

While it’s true that seniors generally need to downsize when moving from homes to assisted living, they are encouraged to personalize their new living spaces. For instance, residents can surround themselves with their favorite art, furniture, books, and photos. Seniors may add personal touches that reflect their personalities. 

Communities are attractive, inviting, and designed to feel home-like. Most are carefully landscaped and often include lush greenery. The furniture in common areas is tasteful and comfortable, often giving communities the feel of resorts. Some communities allow residents to bring their pets.

4.  Myth:  Most Residents Are Sick 

Many vibrant, active seniors choose assisted living because they need help with some activities. Because communities strive to keep residents busy and engaged, even those with health issues often enjoy full, interesting lives. Staff members provide options like therapy for seniors that help keep residents active and feeling their best.

5.  Myth:  Seniors Can’t Enjoy Favorite Pastimes 

There is a misconception that residents in assisted living communities are limited to scheduled activities and cannot enjoy long-time hobbies or interests. Professional coordinators offer a wide range of activities to suit every interest. Seniors can enjoy favorite pastimes like painting, taking photos, and shopping.  

Communities include free transportation that can take residents on excursions. Many seniors develop new hobbies when they begin to take community classes. Since residents don’t need to spend time on home upkeep, they have free time to explore new interests. 

6.  Myth:  Residents Lose Touch with Family and Friends 

Senior communities are very visitor friendly. They typically have common areas seniors can enjoy when family and friends visit. Communities encourage visitors to drop by and join residents for coffee, meals, or activities. It’s common for lonely seniors to enjoy a much more active social life once they choose community living. They can meet others with similar interests and enjoy group activities.  

7.  Myth:  Seniors Lose Their Privacy

Seniors who value their alone time may balk at community living, believing they will sacrifice their privacy. However, residents can spend time any way they want each day. While activities are available, they are also optional. Many residents spend hours in comfortable rooms, enjoying quiet interests like reading.  When ready for company, they can step out and get involved.

Today’s senior living communities are designed to provide residents with vibrant, interesting lifestyles and get any help they need. Seniors can enjoy various activities, host visitors, and maintain privacy. Communities are designed to be warm and inviting, and residents can personalize their spaces.   

Sundial Assisted Living is a Redding, California, community in a beautiful natural setting.  The staff provides assisted living and respite care services for seniors. Residents enjoy life enrichment opportunities and wellness services designed to maintain or improve their capabilities, focusing on helping them remain as independent as possible.