There are a lot of misconceptions about assisted living in Seattle, Washington. For starters, some people aren’t even aware of the term “assisted living” and continue to use the very dated term, “nursing homes”. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of 20 misconceptions about these homes.
1. Loss of Independence
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Part of the beauty of assisted living is the fact that it’s not a “locked down” campus. You can come and go as you please–this is why many are positioned in the heart of downtowns (Queen Anne, Capitol Hill, Seattle, etc.).
You can not only leave campus, but almost all senior homes provide transportation services to chauffeur you from grocery stores, theaters, or even on multi-day trips.
2. No One Visits
People visit all the time! Even if your own family only visits once a month, other residents don’t share your family’s schedule. Assisted living communities are usually very busy.
3. Everyone is Sick
Most people who choose assisted living are healthy. In fact, according to the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), most people move to assisted living for medication management — they simply don’t want to remember what to take and when to refill.
4. The Staff Drug You
Goodness no! Although they moderate your medications, drugging you wouldn’t make their jobs any easier — it’d be harder, with more clean-up. Rest assured, the staff wants you to be healthy and independent.
5. The Food is Awful
This myth seems to stem from elders who complain about there being a shortage of fried donuts — it wouldn’t make much sense to serve you food that’s going to kill you. The food is excellent and many homes feature nights where an expert chef comes and serves a completely new menu.
6. There’s Nothing to Do
Arguably there’s too much to do. Assisted living communities fill themselves with events and activities. Some of these are time sensitive — dance lessons, art lessons, karaoke, etc — but many are free-to-use whenever you and your friends want. It’s an open-canvas!
7. You Need to Surrender your Pet
Pets are our friends and there are a great many people that would argue the bond with a pet can be stronger than that with a human. Do you really think there are no senior living communities that allow pets? Some senior housing communities have farm animals in the backyard. You do not need to surrender your pet.
8. You Need to Surrender your Furniture
Everyone in this industry knows how difficult it is to move from your home — which houses so many memories — to an assisted living. As a result, if there are pieces of furniture you cannot bear to live without, bring them! It should feel like your home.
9. It’s Lonely
Quite the opposite. Assisted livings are so packed that many have wait-lists to become a resident. Chances are, you’re not only going to make a lot of friends, but you’re going to have a lot of variety as well.
10. It Looks like a Hospital
Most people don’t even recognize that they live near an assisted living. They’re styled like apartment homes for your benefit as well as theirs. Your benefit because you can get around easier, and their benefit so that, if there’s a crisis, they can be there within minutes.
11. You Can’t do your Hobbies
Whether you like to garden, host parties, dance, or whatever your passion is, you can easily do it at assisted living homes. Many own garden space on-campus, but if not, rest assured the staff will provide transportation for you.
12. The Staff are not Watchful
Actually, if you don’t see the staff constantly, that’s for your benefit. Assisted livings are meant to feel like homes, not medical institutions. If you saw staff wandering around every corner, you might not feel as independent or as free as you should.
In reality, the staff is very watchful and many are on-call 24/7.
13. The Staff don’t care about You
You don’t get into the business of caregiving unless you actually care. This isn’t an industry where you strike it rich, this is an industry that always needs more nurses, LPNs, and RNs. The people on campus need the education to be there, and they’re there to help because they believe in what they’re doing.
14. It’s Expensive
It’s not cheap, but it may cost about the same (if not less) than owning a home. Nowadays, there are so many apps and free websites that will calculate for you whether or not it’s more reasonable to own a home or rent. At a certain age, it’s actually more financially sound to rent.
Plus, you’re in good hands if you have a fall in an assisted living vs falling alone in a home.
15. Medicare Pays
Medicare does not pay for assisted living. Some long-term health insurance pays, but Medicare will not. Fortunately, there’s also Medicaid, VA benefits, and a slew of other options available to you.
16. It’s a Glorified Nursing Home
Like we mentioned before, “nursing home” is a dated term and hasn’t been in use for decades.
When people refer to “nursing homes” today, they’re usually referring to Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and even that’s a bit misnomer since they’re not permanent residences but temporary stays.
SNFs are used for young and old people alike when they’ve broken a bone, suffered a stroke, or had an accident. SNFs are where you go to avoid paying the absurdly high cost of inpatient hospital stays. Then SNFs transition to routine visits where you can take physical therapy or rehabilitation to fully recover.
17. Care Advisors get Commission
Often times, our care advisors don’t receive any payment whatsoever. Again, you don’t get into this business to make money.
Now obviously that begs the question, “how do they get paid?” Care Advisors are factored into the marketing costs behind senior homes, but they do work independently of one another. This is the beauty of Concierge Care Advisors though, they don’t simply network with every senior care home in existence — or go to the highest bidder. The Care Advisors personally vet each establishment and make sure they’re upholding the strict standards of senior care.
At the very least, they cost nothing to you or the senior.
18. You Can’t Cook for Yourself
Unless your fine motor skills aren’t what they used to be, you absolutely can cook for yourself. You can serve yourself (and friends) your favorite dishes and meals. Your new residence comes with a built-in kitchen, rest-assured.
19. You can’t have Overnight Guests
Assisted living in Seattle isn’t some college dormitory, you’re a grown adult. Whether it’s your family, friends, or significant others, no one is going to tell you whose allowed into your home or for how long. It is YOUR home.
20. Assisted Living doesn’t Help with Dementia
Because Alzheimer’s Disease is so prominent and dementia is a real problem, many of the caregivers and staff are trained to help those with memory loss. Of course, to receive that level of care, you do need to ensure that the assisted living in question offers those services — and a Care Advisor will do that for you for free.