When the words "retirement community" come up, many seniors cringe and make their children swear to never, ever pack them up and send them to one.
A lot of seniors' fear about retirement communities center around three myths: they will be giving up their independence, the kids will stop visiting and those type of places are for people that are old and about to die.
To the surprise of many seniors, retirement communities actually give them more independence. With most communities providing meals, housekeeping, transportation and activity programs; seniors do not have to fret over household chores. The convenience at a community allows more time for socializing with friends and doing the things they love to do.
The number of visits to mom's house may decrease once they move into a retirement community, but usually the quality of the visits increase. When mom is living at home alone and her daughter is worrying about her day and night the visits may be frequent, but usually they are focused on making sure medicine is taken, food is eaten and that things are tidy. With the knowledge that mom is in a safe, loving place with her peers, the daughter is more likely to carve out time to just enjoy conversation.
Finally, one of the most widely held beliefs is that retirement communities are places to go and expire. Many seniors equate leaving their homes to not having anything to live for. Some of them would rather go pick out their coffin than move into such a community.
This myth is light years away from reality. Many seniors living in retirement communities add years to their lives because they have the company of their peers, entertainment programs, nutritious meals, religious services and much more right at their fingertips.