Are you an adult child beginning your assisted living search for a loved one? If so, beware of the greatest assisted living myth that has born regret in so many before you – the myth that all assisted living facilities are essentially the same. This false assumption is a prevalent notion that has many detrimental effects. In fact, the majority of complaints and discontent of assisted living residents can be traced back to this very belief. Adult children who had never given much thought to assisted living often find themselves having to make a decision about their parent shortly after an unfortunate fall or medication mishap. This stress combined with the existing demands of their own family and careers makes it easy for this myth to take root. Let’s take a closer look at some statements that lend themselves to this myth.
1) “All assisted living facilities are regulated by government agencies, so they’ll all take good care of my loved one”.
FACT: Yes, it’s true that all assisted living facilities are regulated by government agencies, however, any given facility could have any number of violations. Such violations can range from nominal paperwork mismanagement to serious health and safety violations.
2)” I’ve researched many facilities online and they all seem to offer the same quality services.”
FACT: Just because a facility has a dominant internet presence doesn’t legitimize them as a top-notch facility. In fact, a case could be made for just the opposite. Excellent facilities with great caregivers are typically at full capacity. If they have an opening, it will likely be short-lived. As a result, these locations do not feel any pressure or need to market themselves online. In fact, some do not even own a website. On occasion successful facilities will open additional locations which are great opportunities to jump on – or even wait for.
3)”The facility owners/managers are caring individuals and run assisted living facilities because they care about the elderly.”
FACT: Unfortunately some facility owners are more interested in being profitable than caring for their residents. Although the owner is ultimately liable for health and safety violations and the performance of their places, many of them hire a manager to oversee the caregivers and day-to-day operations. As with anything, there are good managers and bad ones. The bad ones rack up a list of violations at one facility, where they are fired, and then pop up as a manager at a different facility. You would be wise to know the managers past. As a general rule, an involved, hands-on owner is a big bonus.
4) “Facility residents are all in need of assistance with activities of daily life so my loved one will fit in just great with them.”
FACT: Not all assisted living residents are the same. If your loved one enjoys playing games, having conversations and socializing, then why place them in a facility with lower-functioning residents? Consider your loved one’s personality and spirit. If they prefer to keep to themselves and watch tv, then they will probably not appreciate a location that plans frequent activities, celebrations and bbq’s. You’ll want to be aware of the existing resident personalities in the facility you are considering.
5) “I want my loved one to be close to my home so one of the facilities closest to me will work out perfectly.”
FACT: The locations closest to your home is more than likely not the best fit for your loved one. Be open to pushing your comfort zone as it relates to location and make an effort to balance desired amenities in the mix too. For example, if your elderly mom really enjoys gardening, wouldn’t it be worth a small drive to know she is happy at a facility that has an outdoor garden to tend? Not all facilities offer the same amenities.
The myth that all assisted living facilities are generally the same is a typical assumption of those who simply haven’t had much experience with the topic. The unfortunate reality is that adult children feel the pressure to make pivotal decisions for their loved one quickly and with only a surface knowledge of facilities and their administrators. Fortunately, Transitions Assisted Living has done the necessary groundwork and research to help you locate the perfect assisted living facility in your area. They make it their business to know assisted living within the greater Phoenix metroplex. And, because they are paid by their participating partners, they are able to offer their services free of charge. Dispel the myth and locate the perfect place for your loved one!