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Top 8 Myths About Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living communities provide a comfortable and safe place for the elderly and disabled to live, while getting the help they need on a daily basis. While some may feel a bit apprehensive at the idea of an assisted living community, they can help in a way not thought possible without sacrificing dignity in the process. Assisted living can provide the elderly and disabled with a number of resources including meals, medications, transportation, bathing and dressing, depending on their needs. But as useful as they may be, there are plenty of misconceptions associated with assisted living communities that everyone should be aware of. These misconceptions will often deter others from getting the help they need. With that said, here are the 8 myths about assisted living communities dispelled.

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MYTH: Everyone in an assisted living community is dying.

Many people believe that assisted living communities are filled with people on the verge of death, and that everyone inside has given up on life, but this is completely false. Many people live in assisted living communities for many years, and they go to these communities for a variety of reasons. Many assited living individuals go to these communities simply to retain their quality of life, without which theor health might decline rapidly. In fact individuals who wait for dramatic health emergencies such as a stroke or major accident will unlikely be admitted into an assisted living community. 

MYTH: Medicare will pay for assisted living.

Unfortunately this is a myth. Medicare will not pay for non-medical services such as bathing, dressing and management of medications. These services will not be covered under medicare unless at a nursing home. Typically, assisted living communities will only accept private insurance or long-term care insurance.

MYTH: I will never have independence in an assisted living community.

This is also false. While living in an assited living community you'll get help performing tasks that are difficult for you, such as driving, dressing yourself and cleaning, this does not necessarily mean you won't be able to do any of these things. Furthermore, you'll find the goal of an assisted living community is not just to help you do every single thing. You'll also realize that through physical and occupational therapy, assited living communities are there to help you extend your independence for as long as possible. This means that an assisted living community stresses independence, and merely provides help when you need it.

MYTH: It's cheaper for me to stay at home.

While you might be worried about the cost of living in an assisted living community, know that it can often be more expensive to attempt to live on your own. By living on your own, when you need help performing certain tasks such as bathing, you risk injuring yourself, which can lead to expensive hospital bills and other injury-related expenses. Additionally, at home you have numerous bills to pay such as for utilities, as well as for maintenance, taxes and insurance.

MYTH: You can't get assisted living if you use a wheelchair.

This one is mostly false. Most assisted living communities allow for wheelchairs. However, if more than one staff member is needed to assist the individual in a wheelchair, then they may not be considered for assisted living. Because they have a limited staff, two people cannot be used to help one person in and out of a wheelchair.

MYTH: I won't have any dignity living in an assited living home.

This is a misconception that needs to be dispelled before all else. As an elderly or disabled person, there's nothing wrong with getting the help that you need. There's far more to dignity than bathing and dressing yourself. You'll feel far better not pushing yourself beyond your means than you will falling in the bath tub and risking injury. Holding on to your sense of pride in place of your safety is far less dignified than accepting that you need help. 

MYTH: It's better to get care at an assisted living chain.

As is the case with gourmet restaurants versus chain restaurants, a chain does not guarantee superior quality. Better known companies may often not provide the best care. But you can find information regarding any facility available online or through newspapers and even the Better Business Bureau.

MYTH: Price is a good indicator of quality.

While this might usually seem the truth in most cases, it is not the case for assisted living. When it comes to assitsted living communities, some may be more expensive based on the area they are located or based on extra fees for services. The truth is that you can find quality care at a variety of facilities, regardless of price.