(SP) Having a “can do” attitude at any time in our lives is a wonderful trait. Yet, this doesn’t mean it is always necessary to do everything on your own by yourself. Everyone needs help sometimes and with age, or possibly illness, those times might arise more often. Some of the support we need might come from family members, friends or community services. Still, for all of us, a time may come when we need something more, like assisted living, which is often misunderstood. Here are three misperceptions that deserve to be clarified:

MISPERCEPTION: All assisted living means giving up independence

REALITY: Some people, when getting older, fear that they won’t be able to remain independent and live life on their own terms. Assisted living, like at Brookdale, can redefine independence by helping with daily activities such as managing medications, dressing, bathing, housekeeping and meals. This support can give people the opportunity to spend more quality time with friends and family and enjoy hobbies and leisurely activities without being confined.

MISPERCEPTION: All assisted living is one-size-fits-all

REALITY: Various levels of assisted living can be customized to each resident. Not everyone will need help with the same tasks, nor eat the same meals, nor do things all at the same time. In fact, in communities like Brookdale, the staff makes a point to get to know everyone. From one’s favorite ice cream toppings, to another’s favorite basketball team, to how one prefers their tea in the afternoon: Assisted living staff can make a point to customize residents’ experiences so that everyone can feel right at home – or on vacation! Also, different types of communities can offer very different experiences, doing research and starting a conversation about what you may be looking for now and/or at some point in the future is a wise idea.

MISPERCEPTION: All assisted living is expensive

REALITY: Assisted living can be more affordable than people might realize. Living at home requires separate payments for the mortgage, groceries, utilities, property taxes, healthcare, entertainment and travel. Assisted living tends to bundle those together in one monthly “all-inclusive” payment so while it might seem more expensive at first glance, for many, assisted living may make it easier to budget because it can be done by just paying one bill.

Assisted living can provide a safe environment, peace of mind, and the kind of dignified quality of life that people deserve and desire as they get older. Places like Brookdale can redefine independence by offering individualized care when necessary within a community of enthusiastic people enjoying all that life has to offer.