Are Senior Living Facilities Dull And Isolated? Here Are The Most Common Stereotypes About Assisted Living

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The American population is going through some growing pains. By the time 2030 rolls around it’s expected the number of elderly people will double, making senior living a more immediate concern than ever before. What does senior living mean, though, and how does it help elderly people live their lives to the fullest? This is a commonly asked question across all age demographics, from those who are struggling to meet basic independent needs and those who want the best for their aging family members. Below are some common stereotypes debunked about senior living and the benefits it stands to add to the country over the decades to come.

Is Retirement Common?

Retirement is becoming more common as the years go by. The average age of retirement is 63 (though this is not common across the board) and the United States will see a surge in its elderly population sooner than we know it. While some choose to live with family in retirement, others are unable to make the transition and thus seek out assisted living for seniors to help out. As of now? Around one million Americans live in a senior living community and this number will continue to grow.

Is Senior Living Only For The Elderly?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about senior living (though, to be fair, this term can seem misleading). While elderly populations make up a significant portion of those needing assisted living facilities, chronically ill and disabled persons may also require the constant medical attention and community support a senior living facility offers. It’s also common for elderly people to struggle with multiple illnesses — more than three-fourths of assisted living residents have at least two of the 10 most common illnesses.

Do Retirement Centers Help With Illness And Disability?

When it comes to assisted living information, many have understandable concerns about whether or not their chronic illness will be addressed. Senior living has around-the-clock medical staff to address minor to severe illness. Alzheimer’s disease and various stages of dementia are among some of the most common issues addressed on a regular basis, though they also assist with high-blood pressure, mental illness and lack of mobility.

Are Senior Living Facilities Boring?

Another frequent misconception about senior assisted living is that they’re dull, drab abodes with little to offer its residents emotionally or intellectually. Rather, they are thriving and vibrant communities that regularly engage their residents with a wide variety of activities. For those that prefer art, book clubs and painting sessions are offered for emotional stimulation, while golfing and swimming are perfect for staying physically fit. Simple tasks like dressing, bathing, traveling, cooking and cleaning can also be done with the aid of staff.

Are Senior Living Residents Happy?

The short answer? Absolutely. The long answer is that retirement can be a nerve-wracking transition for many, making constant education and awareness a must to help those who need it most. A recent survey by MONEY readers saw 48% of retirees finding retirement a lot more fulfilling than they expected — the happiest retirees engaged in three to four activities on a regular basis, with the least happy only engaging with one or two. When a study by Genworth Financial found that the most common fear about aging or becoming chronically ill was being a burden on one’s family, assisted living is the ideal go-between for independent and support. What is assisted living? It’s a way of life.

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