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Senior living misconceptions with Aging Advocates

Misconceptions about senior living communities:

“It’s a scary hospital-like nursing home!”

Not the “nursing home” you remember your grandparents in. Nowadays we have several different types of senior living communities that don’t resemble a nursing home at all. In fact, many seniors can avoid a nursing home all together and live in a community with a home like environment.

“It’s a prison and I’ll never be able to leave!”

Although some communities have restriction on their residents leaving due to medical needs, the majority of residents are able to come and go safely and independently as they please! In fact, many residents still drive and lead active lives.

“If I have dementia they will lock me up and drug me!”

Firstly, a cognitive impairment does not mean a secured memory care unity is automatically needed. Secondly, your doctor is the only one prescribing your medication- not the community. Over half of many assisted living residents have some type of a cognitive impairment. This may mean they simply are safer living in an environment where they aren’t always alone, or benefit from some minor assistance. In fact, many folks are living actively with a cognitive impairment and you would never even know it!

“Medicare will pay for my community”

False. Medicare covers hospital and short term rehab stays, but unfortunately not senior living communities. Residents need to pay either privately or with Medicaid which is based on asset amounts. There’s also a benefit through the VA for veteran’s OR their surviving spouse who served during active war time, to help cover the cost. Lastly, if you have a long term care insurance policy, you may be able to utilize that for payment as well.

“My friend knows the best community because her mother was there 15 years ago”

Be careful when taking advise from your well-meaning friends. A community is only as good as their current management and caregivers, and they change regularly. In fact, people have different experiences even within the same community! Your loved one has unique needs, so the best option for one individual may not be best for another. Consult with a professional who understands your loved ones needs and which communities they may be most appropriate for AND is familiar with them currently.

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