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Senior Living for Couples: Comprehensive Guide

Senior Living for Couples: Comprehensive Guide

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Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis

Introduction

Moving to a senior living facility can be a huge lifestyle change, but sometimes the transition is unavoidable. It is advisable that couples move to assisted housing together if possible. Because it makes the shift less daunting and allows couples to age in place together. They can take care of each other and feel more secure. Luckily there are multiple senior living options for couples who want to go to care together.  

Douglas is 73. Apart from his age, he has a few other Alzheimer’s risk factors such as high cholesterol, mild dementia & diabetes. His wife, Jean, is 68 years old, is relatively healthy, and does not suffer from a severe condition. As his Alzheimer’s developed, Douglas wandered away and lost himself in the nighttime. The police called multiple times to rescue the man. Moreover, he tended to turn up the burner when cooking, then forget it. It became inevitable for Douglas to move into a memory care facility at one point. Luckily, the facility also had independent living option on the same campus, so Jean decided to move along with her husband.  

Even if couples move to a senior living together, it can be challenging to decide which facility type would be appropriate for both. This blog will discuss whether a spouse can live in a senior living or not and address related questions about senior living for couples.  

Can Couples live together in Senior Living Communities? 

Couples can live together in senior living communities. But since everyone’s personal and medical needs are different, choosing a suitable facility that meets both spouses’ needs can be tricky. Many retirement homes for couples have different care options within the same facility. It can be beneficial for mature couples with very different care levels and wanting to stay close to each other. Just like in Douglas and Jean’s case, both required different levels of care, but the facility could accommodate those needs. 


Planning for a Couples Future Care Needs 

Determining the future care needs is the first step before a senior couple decides to move to assisted housing. There can be three possible scenarios where: 

  • One spouse needs care, but the other does not 
  • Both of them need similar levels of care 
  • Each of them require different levels of care 

If couples have different care needs, then it is best to consult with a professional and determine their individual care needs. Then, once the assessment is done, for example, when only one parent needs assisted living and the other needs memory care, a multi-level senior care community would be the right choice. 

Benefits of Couples living together in Care Home 

Senior couples living together in a care home can significantly benefit both. Let’s have a look at some of the advantages: 

1. Brings Familiarity 

As we all know, moving to a senior living can be scary and unnerving. It is not easy to leave the familiarity of your own house and loved ones behind to live in a new environment. But having your spouse move with you can lessen the separation anxiety and bring some of that familiarity with you to the facility you move to. So, it helps you adjust to the community much faster. You can make new memories, share your struggles, and help each other along the way. 

2. Potential Monetary Savings 

If couples move to the same senior living facility, it can save them money. They won’t have to pay separately for housekeeping, emergency medical assistance, or other amenities. Besides, they can also save on mortgage money and the cost of housing. It can lead to further saving in the future.  

3. Potential Mental Health Benefits 

Living in long-term care facilities can lead to loneliness, depression, and an increased risk of cognitive decline. Having your spouse by your side while moving to assisted housing can reduce stress, anxiety, and other mental health risks. 

4. Both will have access to All Levels of Care 

Elderly living together in care homes have access to continuum care assessment and delivery. That means if one of their care needs changes at one point, the facility will provide them with those services. 

Functional Assessment and Pre-Screening 

Before a senior couple shifts to a senior living facility, they must undergo a functional assessment and pre-screening. It evaluates their functional capacity and other health conditions to determine their present and future care needs. Based on the results, the authority decides which senior living option would be the best fit for each of them. These assessment topics can include: 

  • Need for supportive services (e.g., hospital beds, oxygen) 
  • Need for mobility devices (e.g., wheelchairs, walkers) 
  • Housekeeping needs 
  • If they can perform activities of daily living and to what extent 
  • Dietary or nutritional requirements 
  • Mental health condition 
  • Medical needs and medication management 
  • Health condition 

Senior Living Options for Couples 

Several senior living options are available for couples with similar or different care needs. Here are some of the options: 

  • Assisted Living: Assisted living for couples help with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) through qualified caregivers. In addition, these communities offer various amenities and activities to keep residents active and live healthier, happier lives. So, suppose a senior couple does not require 24/7 medical attention and wants to maintain an independent lifestyle while living in a care facility. In that case, assisted living might be the best option for them. 
  • Nursing Homes: Nursing homes for couples provide long-term care and supervision to those who need 24/7 medical attention. These facilities are equipped with registered nurses, doctors, and caregivers to provide on-site medical care to the residents. So, senior couples with declining health or serious illness can consider choosing nursing home facilities as their senior living option. 
  • Memory Care: Memory care communities are specifically catered facilities that offer special care and safety to seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. These facilities are safe and uniquely designed to help with anxiety, wandering, and agitation among dementia patients. So mature couples with memory issues may opt for memory care facilities. 
  • Independent Living: Independent living for couples is the perfect choice for older adults who want to live a hassle-free life after retirement. They may not have any medical condition but want to downsize or require assistance with services such as meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, etc. 

Cost of Senior Living for Couples  

The cost of senior living for couples depends on the level of care each of them needs. Usually, they only pay rent for one unit with an additional charge for the other spouse. However, they have to pay for them if they need any extra services. Simply put, spouses who need more care pay for their higher level of service. Here is an approximate cost of senior living for couples: 

  • Independent living: $2,000-$3,000 per month 
  • Assisted living: The average cost of assisted living for a couple’s room and board starts from $1500 per month. But it can go up depending on their level of care needs.
  • Nursing homes: For semi-private rooms, $7900, and for private rooms, $9000 per month 
  • Memory care: $2500-$6000 per month 

Determine Which Option is Best for a Couple 

Determining which senior living option is best for a couple depends on a few factors. That includes: 

  • Their lifestyle choices 
  • Their health conditions 
  • The level of care needs for each spouse 
  • Couple’s financial condition 
  • Their living preferences (together or separate) 

Once they have assessed these factors, they can come to a conclusion regarding the type of care facility they want to pick. These assessments can be done by the couple, their family members, physicians, social workers, or any other appropriate body. 

Balancing care needs for older couples  

Caregiving is a tough task and can take a toll on any relationship. If both spouses are almost the same age with health conditions, it can be more challenging for either of them to share the load. That is why it is so important to choose the right senior living facility that will cater to their individual care needs. The best way to balance the care needs is to assess their care needs and estimated costs thoroughly. The spouse who requires the higher level of care usually determines the type of facility they will be going for. 

What to do when your parents have different senior care needs 

It is pretty common to have aging parents with different care needs. In that scenario, you have a few options to decide which senior living facility will be perfect for them. First of all, ask them about their preferences. If they want to stay together, it is best to find a community that has multiple care options (e.g., memory care + independent living) on the same campus. The facility might provide separate rooms with personalized care programs for senior couples who don’t want to stay in the same unit or cannot due to very different care needs and health conditions. 

How BoomersHub can help you find the right care home for couples

For couples who have shared most of their lives together, sudden separation can be overwhelming and depressing. But choosing the right senior living option may reduce that anxiety to a great extent. If you are struggling to find the right senior living options for couples, don’t worry! Visit BoomersHub’s senior living database or reach out to our senior living advisors by calling +(877) 409-0666 or emailing info@boomershub.com. They will work alongside you to find the appropriate senior living option for senior couples. Our services are completely free! 

Conclusion 

When it comes to senior living, couples have unique needs. They may want to live in a community that offers social activities and opportunities for companionship, or they may prefer a more private setting. Some couples find that living together in a retirement community is the best option, while others choose to live separately but near each other. Living together gives them companionship and saves money while living separately allows more independence. No matter what path they choose, seniors can enjoy their golden years knowing that they’re in good company. 


FAQ related to Senior Living for Couples 

Can a couple go into care together? 

Yes, couples can go into care together even if their care needs are different. They can share a room or have separate rooms. 

What happens when a spouse’s level of care changes? 

When a spouse’s level of care changes, they can move to the care option that is most suitable for them. For example, if a senior couple is living in assisted living and after a while, one of them has to move to a nursing home, they need to check if their current facility can accommodate their needs. That is why it is recommended to choose a senior living with varying levels of care. 

Can Couples Live Together in Nursing Homes? 

Yes, couples can live together in nursing homes. However, in some cases, that may not be possible due to very different care needs or if one spouse has a chronic illness and needs special care. 

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