As more senior living communities pop up throughout the country, so have a few misconceptions and myths.
Melissa Slay, Director of Marketing at Twin Lakes Senior Living Community in Montgomery, Ohio, says one of the biggest misconceptions is people think it’s just about selling your home and downsizing to a more manageable home during retirement.
“Moving into a villa or apartment is just one small part of it,” she says. “It’s really all about the benefits of the lifestyle.” Many people often don’t realize the amenities, services and community culture that comes with a senior living community and how that can shape the lifestyle you live during retirement.
The 5 Myths
Here are the top five myths Melissa hears most often:
1. It Isn't Any Different From Staying In My House
The many on-site services, amenities and conveniences you gain at a senior living community make life easier. For example, the amenities within the Twin Lakes neighborhood include a bank, post office, salon, pool, chapel, library, various dining options, transportation, on-site nurse and more.
Also, you gain more time to enjoy the things you love to do when you move to a maintenance-free home in a senior living community. Downsizing to an independent living patio home, villa or condominium can relieve you of the stress and burden that comes with maintaining a home, especially a home where you don’t use the majority of the space.
2. I Should Wait Until I Have A Health Issue
“I hear it all the time,” Melissa says. “I want people to come and enjoy a senior living community vs. entering the community when there is a crisis and limited choices.”
You gain opportunities to live a healthier life when you move into an active senior living community. Whether it’s daily fitness classes or mind-stimulating cultural activities, move in when you are healthy and can explore the many opportunities provided for you.
In fact,independent living communities today are designed for the active and healthy senior who is able to live on their own. The communities are providing amenities that meet the lifestyle these seniors want, such as fitness centers, pools, cultural and educational activities, trips, daily social opportunities and more.
3. I’m Too Young To Be Living With 'Old People'
Age is just a number. There is no magic age when it comes to choosing a senior living community. When the subject comes up at Twin Lakes, many residents say they wish they made the move when they were younger. They are busier and more active at Twin Lakes than they were living at home due to having more opportunities at hand.
The culture at Twin Lakes is a diverse mix of people. It includes residents living in independent living homes, residents living in assisted living apartments, staff members, volunteers, family and friends visiting and the many community members who stop by weekly for activities. It’s not a place for “old people.” It’s a hub of activity and fun for all ages.
4. It's Too Expensive
“It is often more comparable than people think,” Melissa says. “I always encourage people to look at their monthly expenses and take it out on a year basis.” By the time you add in property taxes, home maintenance, year-round home upkeep and more, the costs of a maintenance-free home in a senior living community is often more affordable than people initially think.
Use our senior living Cost Comparison Worksheet to help you calculate and compare expenses.
Also, take time to review your future health care options as part of your senior living budget. Aside from daily living expenses, health care is the most worrisome and unpredictable retirement-related concern. A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) such as Twin Lakes, where your future health care is included, may be the right fit for you.
5. It's Such An Easy Decision To Make That I'll Just Wait
This is often not the case. For many, it’s a decision that takes careful consideration. And what if the community you like best has a waiting list? Yes, waiting lists already exist and are expected to grow as more Baby Boomers retire
Take time to tour senior living communities and compare your options. Use a retirement community checklist to help you ask the important questions while you tour.
Most importantly, you need to have a plan. “You may think you won’t move to a senior living community for many years or even ever; however, life can change, your situation or circumstance may change and it is better to know the options now rather than later when there may be limited choices and availability,” Melissa advises.
Planning Ahead for the Senior Lifestyle You Want
Research shows those who are happiest in retirement have discovered a sense of purpose in daily living. They continue to use their talents, build on their passions and seek interactions with others.
As part of planning for the kind of home and financial aspect of retirement living, also take into consideration the lifestyle you want to live. How will ‘where you live’ help fulfill the lifestyle you want to live?
Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Montgomery, Ohio that provides Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing Care, Memory Support Services, and both Inpatient and Outpatient Rehabilitative Services. If you would like a tour of Twin Lakes contact us at 513-247-1300 or click here to reach us online.