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Treemont debunks senior living misconceptions

September 21, 2018

Moving from your beloved home to a senior living community is a challenging transition, and you’ll come up with all sorts of reasons to stay put. Senior living offers several benefits. You get a built-in network of friendly people and access to quality care. There’s also no shower to clean, no yard to mow, and no dishes to wash or need to cook.

This should clear up seven common misconceptions about senior living.

It’s too expensive. When you compare your monthly expenses and caregiving costs to a senior living community’s monthly fee, you may come out ahead. You won’t pay property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, home repairs or utilities. Most communities provide transportation, meals and housekeeping, so you may not need a car, or to buy groceries.

“By the time I paid my bills and expenses, I was spending more money than I do here,” says Joanne Driscoll, Treemont Retirement Community resident.

I’ll lose my independence. Senior living may help you maintain independence longer than living at home. Regular meals keep you nourished, which ensures better health, plus there’s home care on site. With housekeeping, transportation and personal needs taken care of, you have more time to pursue hobbies. You can spend quality time with family, rather than asking your daughter to do caregiver duties or drive you places.

I can’t bring my dog/cat/parakeet. Senior living communities recognize the benefits of pets. In addition to companionship and love, studies show pet ownership helps reduce stress and increases social interaction. Look for a pet-friendly senior living community.

I’ll have no social life. Have you looked at a senior community’s event calendar? Treemont offers fitness classes, educational clinics, TED talks, writing and language programs, sing-alongs, movie nights, card games, lunch groups, and more. There are plenty of opportunities to engage with friendly people, including at each meal or while reading a book in the library.

I’ll miss the comfort and safety of home. As we age, we like our neighborhood and neighbors, but health issues keep us isolated, and balance issues put us at risk of falling. Senior living communities provide a safe environment. Treemont has all interior corridors and conducts twice-daily safety checks to make sure everyone’s OK, has an emergency call system, and an evening security guard.

“My children know someone will check every evening at 9 p.m. and again at 9 a.m.,” says Treemont resident Jean. “It’s a win-win for the children, too.”

It feels like an institution. When touring potential communities, use all five senses. Do residents and staff appear happy and content? Does staff greet you warmly? How does it smell? Most important, how’s the food? With fresh paint, warm colors and wide corridors, Treemont creates a home-like environment. You’ll find cozy nooks inside and scenic gardens outside where you can relax and visit with friends and family. Staff helps newcomers get settled in and adjusted to their new lifestyle.

Senior living is for “old people.” As KHOU-TV (Ch. 11) Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan once said in a news feature, “It’s not a place where you go to die. It’s a place where you go to live again.” Some residents continue to work. Others start a new chapter. Treemont resident Felix Meyer learned to play the piano and paint. Halina Koziel volunteers almost daily, at Treemont or a nonprofit thrift shop. Libby Davis published the children’s book, The Tale of Fredrica the Fox. You’ll find residents teaching painting, quilting, creative writing, playing piano and dancing.

For more information, visit Treemont.com, or call 713-783-6820 for a free lunch and tour.

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