There are many misconceptions about assisted living floating around out there due to the complexity of senior care. How senior care is offered has also changed, so someone who hasn’t had any contact with this area in recent years may have ideas that are out of date. Finally, negative perceptions tend to get repeated more often both among acquaintances and in the media. Let’s examine some of these misconceptions. An assisted living facility is the same thing as a nursing home. Assisted living facilities actually have come about relatively recently, and they are distinct from nursing homes. Assisted living is designed to address the needs of the senior who may need help with some things, but is otherwise independent and healthy. In contrast, nursing homes are for those who need to have skilled medical care available around the clock. Assisted living facilities encourage seniors to be as active and as independent as possible. They focus on allowing seniors to feel that they’re living on their own and not burdening their families, but that help is still close by. Medicare pays for assisted living. Unfortunately, as many seniors learn when they investigate assisted living, this is false. While nursing homes are able to accept Medicare, assisted living facilities cannot. Medicare only pays for medical expenses, and assisted living facilities do not provide medical care. Usually, people pay for assisted living with long-term care insurance or private funds. There are some assisted living facilities who will accept Medicaid, but these residents may not best be served by assisted living communities. The food in assisted living facilities is lousy. At least at Raya’s Paradise, that’s not true! Our residents savor delicious home-cooked meals and snacks. Seniors with Alzheimer’s won’t be accepted into an assisted living facility. Some facilities, such as Raya’s Paradise, offer specialized care for residents with memory problems, including Alzheimer’s. Assisted living facilities have poor resident to caregiver ratios. Out of all the types of senior care, assisted living actually has the best resident to caregiver ratios. Raya’s Paradise has one caregiver for every three residents. In comparison, nursing homes sometimes have one caregiver tending to 20 or even 30 residents. Assisted living is expensive. Different types of senior care use different pricing models, so you’ll have to carefully compare what level of care you’re getting at a particular rate, and consider whether a certain level of care is necessary. Generally, assisted living facilities are cheaper than nursing homes, which offer constant medical care to seniors with serious problems. Assisted living offers a solution for seniors who are independent in some ways but need help in others. It often can be a way for seniors to make the most of the time they have left and feel secure. It allows them to maintain their quality of life, which everyone can agree is the goal.