Making a significant life change can be daunting for adults of any age, and transitioning to a retirement home can be one of the most significant changes in one’s lifetime. It’s natural for older adults and their families to feel apprehensive about such a transition.

This apprehension, though understandable, is not necessary! Older adults who switch to retirement living can continue to enjoy full, rich lives packed with joy and adventure! 

Below, we’ll review a few common myths that may fuel anxieties about retirement homes and shed some light on the truth behind these stigmas. 

After reading today’s blog post, you can check out the following article to learn about the various benefits of assisted living for older adults in Canada:

Myth 1: Retirement homes feel like institutions

Many people are under the impression that retirement homes are high-end hospitals or institutions. Instead of comfortable and stylishly decorated apartments, they picture plain-coloured walls and hospital beds.

Retirement homes are often modelled after resorts and luxury hotels rather than medical centres. They feature modern amenities, fully decorated rooms, lush grounds with gardens, walkways, and pleasant-looking community areas that feel fresh and inviting!

Myth 2: People lose their independence

Many people believe that switching to retirement living equates to handing the reins to the on-site staff and giving them the power to run their lives. However, nothing could be further from the truth!

While many older adults in retirement communities require assistance with day-to-day tasks, this type of assistance provides them with more freedom, possibly more than they’ve had since they were young.

Older adults in retirement living can spend their days engaging in group activities, visiting with family, going on outings, dedicating time to their hobbies, and doing anything else they desire while their chores, meals, and home maintenance are looked after by retirement home staff members. 

High-quality retirement communities are also vocal about maintaining boundaries between workers and residents. While those living in the community need help with specific tasks, on-site staff won’t overrule the wishes of the person they’re looking after and will focus on treating them with the respect they deserve. 

Myth 3: It’s more expensive to live in a retirement home than to age in place

Another common misconception about retirement living is that it costs an arm and a leg. When family members of retirees look into the cost of retirement homes, the monthly prices may seem relatively high. However, in most cases, the cost of retirement living is comparable, if not cheaper, than aging in place while paying for home care.

Even if an older adult has paid off their mortgage, the costs of maintaining their home, paying for utilities, repairs, insurance, taxes, groceries, emergency response services, renovations to make their home more accessible and other miscellaneous expenses on top of home care can add up quickly. 

Furthermore, even if the cost of maintaining your home isn’t much more expensive than switching to retirement living, moving to a retirement community can enable you to free up the personal time that chores and home maintenance would formerly take up.

Myth 4: There’s no privacy

Many believe that when they live in a retirement home, they’ll be surrounded by people 24/7, forced to participate in group activities or have caretakers in their apartment all day.

However, older adults have complete freedom of choice over how much privacy they have. They can choose to spend their day in community areas with their friends, or they can spend the whole day in their apartment undisturbed!

All on-site staff respect residents’ privacy and will only enter their apartments if that person permits. 

Myth 5: Residents feel imprisoned 

When some older adults consider how life will be in a retirement home, many are under the impression that they’ll feel they’ll have a lack of freedom, especially when visiting with friends and loved ones. However, as mentioned above, retirement living is about making life as easy and free as possible for those in residence! Your apartment is your new home, meaning you can allow your friends and family to visit whenever you please, and they can stay as long as they’d like. 

Myth 6: The food isn’t as good as a home-cooked meal

Some believe retirement home food is bland or made with low-quality ingredients. However, because most retirement homes focus on providing all meals to their residents, they ensure that their retirees are fed nutritious, delicious meals that meet each individual’s dietary preferences and restrictions.

Many retirement homes offer opportunities for fine dining and wine and cheese nights, providing older adults with diverse meal options that are generally chef-prepared and chef-approved!

Myth 7: Retirement living is lonely and boring

Another common misconception about retirement living is that the lifestyle is boring and isolating. Many picture life in a retirement community as sitting in a chair and knitting or reading for hours. In contrast, most retirement homes provide as much opportunity as possible for older adults to engage in fun activities and socialize with their fellow retirees.

In addition to having community areas for dining and relaxation, many retirement homes come fully equipped with entertainment rooms that offer regular events and activities, from dances to karaoke nights to wine tastings. 

Other activities like fitness classes are also offered, which not only give older adults a chance to stay in shape but also an opportunity to socialize with friends. Engaging in a healthy activity can benefit mental and physical health! 

Final thoughts

As seen above, many misconceptions about retirement living couldn’t be further from the truth! If you or one of your loved ones are planning on moving to a retirement home, you don’t need to worry about moving into a bland and uninviting environment. Instead, you can look forward to enjoying the next chapter of your life worry-free while spending your time as you, please!