Senior living is a transition. Just as with many of life’s other transitions, it can be accompanied by misconceptions. Senior living comes with its own misconceptions, which might discourage some families or individuals who are in the process of considering the transition and taking that next step. At Walker Methodist, we very much value everything senior living has to offer, and hope to clear up some misconceptions for those wishing to learn more and make the decision to take a tour, or speak to someone about senior living.
Here is a list of what senior living is not...
1. Senior Living is Not a 'One Size Fits All' Solution
People always have choices when it comes to where they call home. House, apartment, townhouse. Urban or rural. Rent or own. There are endless options when it comes to the physical space, too. Open floor plans. Multiple bedrooms. The list goes on. The same option and customization comes to senior living. There are choices individuals can make based on personal preference and need. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions of senior living: that there isn’t choices or options, or that every individual must just accept the same arrangement or living community. That just isn’t the case with senior living.
Senior living is a choice. Choices, plural. There are endless combinations of care available at Walker Methodist’s 10 vibrant communities across the Twin Cities. Options include care suites, housing with services, long-term care, assisted living, independent living, memory care, transitional care, retirement communities, and more.
2. Senior Living is Not About Giving Up Independence
Older adults aged 55 and over have the opportunity to live their lives as independently as possibleat Walker Methodist. One of the goals of senior living is to help promote seniors’ independence and ability to live life to the fullest. Perhaps this freedom comes from living without the worry of managing upkeep on a home that requires maintenance, chores, and other daily tasks. Perhaps this means assistance as requested with medication management, or light housekeeping. For some, independence comes from having reliable transportation, access to quality social programming, and enjoying spiritual life.
Whatever freedoms and allowances mean, living with fewer burdens is what we offer at Walker Methodist. Senior living doesn’t mean a loss of independence; rather a newfound freedom and ability to enjoy the lifestyles people want and deserve.
3. Senior Living Isn’t a Cold, Lonely Experience
A lot of individuals and families express concern with the misconception that senior living means loneliness in a sterile environment. That isn’t true at Walker Methodist. Our very Mission: Life. And all the living that goes with it. Enhancing the lives of older adults through a culture of care, respect, and service, supports this. Our dedication and compassion is evident in every aspect of senior living we provide to our Residents. Residents are treated like family, because they are family. As an organization, we are both honored and privileged to provide homes to seniors, and the associated care and support they need and desire.
On the flip side, senior living isn’t about anything forced or uncomfortable. If our Residents wish to participate in the many social, spiritual, and life-enriching opportunities Walker Methodist presents, that is their choice. If they are happy and content to live quieter, or more privately that is their wish. We offer a wide range of support and activity at each community, but the option remains on the individuals. It’s all about variety and respect.
4. Senior Living is Not Unaffordable
Another big misconception about senior living is the price tag. Often, this is also one of the hardest topics to talk about amongst families because money is involved. While true that a majority of homeowners have paid off their mortgages by the time they consider senior living, maintaining a home is still expensive. Utilities, homeowner taxes, insurance payments, routine or unplanned maintenance … all of these affect individual or family budgets. And those costs – without mentioning groceries, household items, entertainment, personal items – do not account for the medical or personal care individuals who live at home might have to arrange and pay for. In-home healthcare costs can be high.
At Walker Methodist, we work closely with individuals and families during the senior living transition to ensure all needs are met. Part of that is the financial aspect. We created a free “All in One Financial Planning Guide for Senior Living” – which you can download here - that contains information on everything pertaining to senior living, including long-term care insurance and a checklist for budgeting.
So while senior living is “not” a lot of things when it comes to common misconceptions, it is a continuation of life, and all there is to celebrate in everyday life. It is the right choice for older adults 55 years and up who are ready to transition to the next home that is right for them, and features what they want and look forward to.