21 Pros and Cons of Assisted Living

Finding the right assisted living provider can be crucial to maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle. Understanding the pros and cons of assisted living can help you make the best decision for your future. 

Like most significant changes, there are many things to consider. There are many reasons assisted living can be a fun choice, but some things make it complicated. Understanding both will allow you to find a facility that you will love.  

An image of an elderly man with white hair seated in a chair in an assisted living home. He is looking up at female carer

Pros 

Here are some of the best things about taking part in assisted living. 

1. Assisted Living Adapts to Your Current Needs 

You can customize your care at assisted living locations to fit your requirements. They can start with as little as occasional check-ins and the ability to call for help when needed, all the way to complete care with personal hygiene, cooking, and cleaning. 

The flexibility of care allows you to increase the help they give as you need it, without feeling like they are taking over your life. 

2. Say Goodbye to Choirs You Don’t Like 

Assisted living also offers a range of care options for your room. You still get to keep a personal touch and continue doing things you like to do with home care. Depending on the facility, this can include gardening and cooking. 

However, if you don’t want to deal with choirs, you can have the staff at the facility handle everything for you. They have cooking facilities that can prepare full meals, and they take care of all the clean-up. 

You don’t have to spend your days taking care of your home so you can focus on activities you enjoy more, like crafts, exercises, and entertainment. 

3. Keep Your Independence 

No one likes to give up their freedom, and sometimes assisted living can feel that way. However, because you can tailor your experience to your needs, you can still keep a lot of the independence you have become accustomed to having. 

Set up your own schedule, choose your events, continue to do your hobbies, all while getting some extra help when you need it. If you require more or less help, just talk to your staff and figure out a new plan that works better for you. 

4. Control of Your Room And Area 

You can make personal decisions about your room in assisted living facilities. You can pick out the decorations you want to add so that the place can feel personalized. You can rearrange stuff to enjoy the area better, which makes the spot feel more like home. 

You can also decide how much input you want with your new home. The facility will help you as much as you need, but if you want to take care of your room yourself, you have that option. In some places, you can even add your own furniture. 

5. Scheduled Activities Keep You Entertained  

An image of a group of elderly people siting together as they watch television. They all look very happy and are smiling

Many assisted living places have activities that you can choose to participate in if would like. These include things like dances, movie nights, trivia, games, hobby groups, and a wide assortment of other fun events. 

Sometimes these take place at the facility, and other times you can go out to new and exciting locations for the activities. You decide which ones you take part in, and you choose which ones to skip. 

6. Increased Social Opportunities 

Socialization is very crucial. There will be a wide range of people in the facility to talk to and interact with every day. You will have opportunities to meet people during events, dining hall experiences, and daily activities. 

You can find people you like and discover new friends who share the same interests and hobbies you do. Once you meet new people, it is easy to get together, have fun, and share companionship. 

7. Help With Daily Activities 

One reason to come to assisted living is to get help with needed daily activities. The staff at the facility will be happy to assist you with your daily hygiene routine, cleaning your home, taking care of yard work, and making sure that you are doing well. 

8. Your Family Can Have More Fun With Visits 

When your family comes to visit, you can focus on having fun with them, rather than making sure that everything is cared for with you and around your home. It can take away the burden of required labor so that you can enjoy each other’s company. 

They can come along with you on your daily routine to see how you’re doing, or you can hang out in your room and talk. Neither one of you has to spend the visit worrying about taking care of the choirs. You can just interact like a family, which is more satisfying. 

9. Improved Health Care 

An older lady is sitting in a chair next to a carer who has her arm around her

The trained staff at assisted living can help make sure you are doing well. To achieve this, the team helps watch out for possible medical problems and concerns. Though the facility may not be a complete medical location, they often have professionals on-site if an emergency occurs. 

The staff also makes sure that you are scheduling doctor’s appointments, and if there is a new condition, they help you get it treated on time. The extra supervision the staff can offer may help avoid complications caused by missing early signs of developing problems.  

10. Reliable Transportation Options 

Driving can sometimes be more challenging as you develop new medical conditions, but you still have to get to your meeting and appointments. Many assisted living facilities offer transportation to doctors and other events. 

You can schedule these rides when you need them, so you don’t have to worry about how you will get to your events. Some facilities even offer transportation all around their complex so that you don’t have to walk on your own, especially in bad weather. 

11. Less Expensive The In-Home Care 

When you need some extra help, assisted living is often a much cheaper option than in-home care. When you’re looking for additional assistance, this is a more affordable option that still lets you maintain a good portion of your independence.  

Cons 

Here are some of the most significant inconveniences with assisted living. 

1. You Have to Leave Your Home

You have spent a lot of time in your current home. Even though it can sometimes be a hassle to maintain, you still love it. When you go to assisted living, you have to leave the home you have made during your life. 

Changing homes can be exciting, but it can also be scary, especially if you have lived in the same house for a long time. Even when you like your new place, it can be sad and difficult to leave what you know. 

2. Lack of Individual Care 

The staff at assisted living has to take care of a whole lot of people. It can mean that they aren’t able to focus on you all the time. The staff will split their energy over an entire group of rooms, which can sometimes cause you to feel neglected or ignored. 

When choosing an assisted living location, it is vital to determine how many rooms each employee will have to help with during a shift. You will likely use the facility as you need more help, so learn about options you have for more personal care before you need it. 

3. Stress of Adjusting 

An older male is sitting down and looking at the camera with a concerned look on his face

You have been used to taking care of yourself for most of your life. The idea of someone else coming in and helping with that can be scary and hard to handle. You don’t know how the people will react, and you’re not sure what the whole experience can entail. 

Asking questions and taking it slow will help mitigate some of this concern, but it may take a while before you stop experiencing the stress from this change. 

4. Less Extensive Medical Care Then a Nursing Home

Assisted living is not a complete medical care situation. There are many times that a person can have too many medical requirements for assisted living to handle. These can include conditions that require almost constant monitoring and many cases of dementia. 

Sometimes you will start in an assisted living location but have to move to a more constant care facility as your health gets worse. Switching places can be difficult, especially as your health gets worse. 

Some places have graduated tiers in care so that you can change in the same company. Finding homes like these can allow you to get to know people you will be interacting with longer. 

5. You May Have a Roommate 

Depending on the assisted living location, you can have a roommate. Adding a new person to your living quarters can be difficult, especially because you don’t know who they are before moving in.

Even if you get your own room, sometimes the communal nature of the facility can be complicated to adapt to living. You will be seeing and dealing with neighbors and other residents at the facility, which can be hard for less social people. 

6. Lack of Choices 

Even though many assisted care locations go to great lengths to make sure you can keep your independence, you still don’t get all the same freedom you would when living on your own. You will experience a lack of individual choices that may cause you problems. 

These include things like picking your entertainment options, where you can eat, and what you can buy. There may even be limitations on when you can leave the facility. These can all be hard to adapt to when you are used to making all your own decisions. 

7. You Can Get Kicked Out 

There are many rules in an assisted living situation, and if you break the rules, the facility can ask you to leave. Sometimes the restrictions make sense and are pretty easy to follow, but occasionally the requirements involve things you can’t even control, like your current health needs. 

It is essential to learn about the rules and requirements before you move into a facility. Sometimes you can tell just from the rules whether the location will work for you. If you’re a night owl and they have a lights-out policy at ten, you may want to find another place. 

8. The Care is Only as Good as the Current Staff 

An elderly male is sitting in a chair as he chats with a assisted living nurse

If you have an in-home care specialist, you can change them if their care starts to slip. However, if the staff at an assisted living location changes and gets worse, you have to leave the whole facility. 

It can be challenging to have no say over who the facility hires as staff to help take care of you. In most situations, you can make complaints and suggestions. It is important to know your rights as a resident of your assisted living place to avoid problems. 

Related: Problems with Over 55 Communities

9. Limited Visitation and Leave Time 

In assisted living, you don’t always control your schedule. There can be a lot of restrictions on when you are allowed to come and go from the facility. There can also be rules about when and how long your family can visit, which may be tough for them to work out. 

Many places will try to work with you, but because of the size of the facilities, they have to have some restrictions on time. It can be a significant adjustment for people leaving their own homes. 

10. Cost 

Assisted living isn’t as expensive as some options, but it does have a cost. The average price is over $3,500 a month, which can be prohibitive for many people. There are also additional costs that may add up, like going to events and eating out. 

It is still less expensive than at-home and nursing home options, but it can be challenging. If you need extra help and are worried about the cost, there are many organizations and plans that may be able to help you.  

Final Thoughts 

Now that you have seen some of the biggest pros and cons of assisted living, you better understand what your choice will mean. Depending on what you need, Assisted Living facilities can be a fun adventure where you meet new friends and have unique experiences. 

If you have any questions or concerns, you should talk to the facility you are looking to use. They can often help explain their own unique features to ensure you’re getting the most out of your care. 

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