The fear of getting old is a common concern for many. Where do you go once you start facing the reality of reduced mobility? Will you become a burden on your family despite your best efforts? These are just some of the thoughts that could be going through your loved one’s mind, creating fear where there should instead be a healthy curiosity for what’s to come in the next stage of their life. With America’s elderly population expected to reach 20% in just the next two decades, conversations about assisted living are become more common than ever.
No conversation does well on misconceptions. The five most frequent misunderstandings about memory care centers and nursing homes will be detailed below so both you and your loved one can get off on the right foot.
My Loved One Doesn’t Need To Retire Yet
Let’s start off with a simple fact…everyone’s retirement years look different. While the average age of retirement is 63, it’s becoming increasingly common for people to start thinking about this next stage in their life a little earlier. This can be especially prudent for those displaying early signs of dementia or those struggling with chronic pain. Memory care centers are regulated in over 20 different states, with special care disclosure laws updated regularly to keep up with the shifting demand of America’s aging population.
They Won’t Need Specialized Care
This harmful mentality can cause many to not seek the care they need to live out their retirement years to the fullest. It’s estimated as many as 70% of Americans turning 65 years or older will need long-term care at some point in their life, though recent surveys have found a significant number believing this won’t be necessary. When age and the onset of disability makes it difficult to complete day-to-day tasks, a nursing home can provide an ideal balance between assistance and independence.
Nursing Facilities Don’t Help With Dementia
Far from it! Memory care centers are explicitly designed to help its members with this debilitating condition, providing around-the-clock care and daily activities to help them live as comfortably as possible. It’s estimated five million people or more are living with Alzheimer’s as we speak. This condition also accounts for 80% of all dementia diagnoses. Although the majority of people living with Alzheimer’s are aged 65 or older, there is a sizable population displaying what’s known as ‘early-onset Alzheimer’s’.
Assisted Living Homes Are Dreary Places To Live
Brush aside the common media stereotype of the tired, boring nursing home. Whether you’re considering a local assisted living facility or specialized memory care centers, these are designed first and foremost as communities. They balance regular care with the exact sort of activity you would expect in your general day-to-day — traveling, exercising, engaging in hobbies, participating in sports, you name it. An average of 40% of assisted living residents will receive assistance with three or more daily tasks, such as washing or bathing.
I Shouldn’t Look Into A Local Care Facility
Just like nobody’s retirement age is the same, neither is the journey for you and your loved one. Are they showing early signs of dementia? Do they have mobility issues or chronic pain that prevents them from living a high standard of life? Having this conversation now will save you both a lot of heartache down the road. Learning about what they need as well as what they want is the first clue toward finding a community that will support them in their next stage of life. Consider reaching out to memory care facilities in your area and asking for a tour.
We all have to face the reality of aging. Memory care centers will make sure we don’t face it alone.