News &  Resources

Six Senior Living Myths Busted

Two seniors, a man and a woman, are standing next to each other outdoors, both smiling.

You may have come across unfamiliar terms used to refer to a senior living community. There are numerous nicknames, such as “old folks’ home” or “elderly home,” for retirement communities, and even more myths exist. We’ve heard them all, and chances are, you have, too.

But if you dig deep enough, you’ll see the reality: Older adults are moving to senior living communities to find more freedom, joy, and purpose. They’re exploring new horizons, enjoying new hobbies, or nurturing a passion. And that’s no myth; that’s the truth! 

Contrary to what you may have heard, senior living offers a better quality of life. One type of senior living community is known as a Life Plan Community or continuing care retirement community (CCRC). A Life Plan Community offers all levels of care on one campus – from independent and assisted living to memory care – you have the services you need when you need them. You will even find a wellness clinic for blood pressure checks and other healthcare needs, keeping you from having to travel to a doctor’s office or urgent care if you are worried about your health.

Take a look at these six common senior living myths. We’ll debunk them one by one with the facts.

MYTH: There’s no such thing as an “active” senior living community.

THE FACTS:  Adults 60 and older are downsizing, leaving the headaches of homeownership behind to enjoy newfound freedom and focus on what truly matters to them. Life Plan Communities offer older adults amenities such as fitness centers and comprehensive wellness programs, numerous dining choices with flexible menu options, volunteering opportunities on and off campus, enrichment classes, clubs, and committees – all of which contribute to a lifestyle that is as active as you need it to be.

MYTH: Senior living communities are expensive.

THE FACTS: Senior living communities may look expensive – until you consider what you are paying for. For example, at a Life Plan Community, you typically pay two fees: an entrance fee and a monthly service fee.

These fees cover the cost of living in an independent living residence of your choice, along with services and amenities such as dining, maintenance of your residence, most monthly utilities, housekeeping, activities, resident programs, unlimited use of common spaces like an art studio, game room, and much more. 

Say goodbye to the hidden costs of homeownership and hello to a maintenance-free lifestyle where everything you need is right at your fingertips.

MYTH: My home offers me everything independent senior living offers.

THE FACTS: Chances are your home does not offer nearly the number of services and amenities a senior living community does. Nor can your home provide you with higher levels of care – if and when you need it.

Something else to consider: Senior living communities provide engagement and social interaction. Living at home alone may make you more socially isolated than you realize. According to research, social isolation significantly increases a person’s risk of premature illness from multiple causes. This risk may even be greater than those who smoke, are obese, or are physically inactive.

MYTH: There’s no privacy.

THE FACTS: Retirement communities offer fully private residences where you can relax and enjoy your privacy, just as you always have. You can welcome visitors into your home whenever you want – or retreat to your own quiet, personal sanctuary whenever you feel like it. Sequoia Living resident May Lynne says, “Community living is great because there is always someone around if you want company, but if you prefer to be alone, you have that option too.” 

If you want to be around people, walk out your front door. You’ll have an entire community of neighbors and staff willing to become friends.

MYTH: The food is awful.

THE FACTS: Nothing could be further from the truth. Many senior living communities have a culinary team on staff led by a professionally trained chef. Many of these chefs have spent their careers in hospitality, working in some of the finest restaurants or private clubs. Residents enjoy a wide range of delicious options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The culinary team typically includes a dining director, executive chef, and nutritionist, who are in charge of all food preparation and quality control. Menu development is created with input from the resident-led food committee. And while the menus may have healthy dishes and lighter options, none are light on taste, flavor, or quality. 

Although you may never need to cook another meal while living at a Life Plan Community, many offer kitchens with modern appliances and large private dining rooms for entertainment.

MYTH: I’m too young to consider a retirement community.

THE FACTS: Many older adults move into a community to enjoy all the services and amenities offered. And many choose to downsize while they’re healthy and active enough to be in control of their decisions. They don’t want to make a move during a health crisis – like a broken hip from a fall –  and they don’t want healthcare decisions to burden their children or other family members. “I remembered what had happened with my mother, and I wanted to be proactive while I still could,” says Sequoia Living resident Brenda.

Explore all that your next chapter has to offer. “Oftentimes, people have this perception that moving into an active aging community is the last chapter of their lives,” says Heather Harris, Life Enrichment Director of a Sequoia Living community. “I think of it more as a next chapter offering new experiences and friendships.” 

Find more helpful information, browse the Sequoia Living Resources section

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