While an assisted living community has traditionally been the destination for many single seniors, the number of couples aging in place together and entering senior care communities jointly is rising.
One out of five adults will be over the age of 65 by 2030. With the social pressure to remain at home while caring for each other beginning to subside, more seniors are realizing the benefits of joining a community where each can receive the care they need without straining their relationship.
When it comes to your parents, your main goal is to ensure their safety and security, while helping them maintain their independence and dignity. Living at home as long as possible is often the first choice. However, realizing the limitations of care available and making a joint decision to change locations before one or both spouses become incapable of self-care is extremely preferable to one spouse becoming a full-time caretaker.
Developing a Long-Term Care Plan
While it might not be the time to make the actual shift to a senior living community, it may be the perfect time to start the discussion. This is even more important if Alzheimer’s or dementia is beginning to appear. It’s best to have plans decided before the loss of cognitive ability means having to make decisions for someone else.
Your parents have a good relationship and want to stay together, but they aren’t equipped to handle one of them becoming incapacitated. This is where making a detailed plan for senior living can be the best long-term option.
One question that may come up almost immediately is “Can we stay together?”
If your mom or dad is resisting the idea of assisted living, it may be because they aren’t aware that couples can enter a community together and continue to be each other’s companion as they age in place. Moving into a senior living community can take the extra stress off of a parent who might be doing the majority of caretaking for a spouse requiring chronic care.
At The Kensington Redondo Beach, couples are welcome in our senior living community, and our two memory care neighborhoods are set up to allow couples to age in place even if one of them needs significantly more care than the other. We are equipped to provide safe, comfortable housing and activities to meet every resident at their current level of ability and participation. We strive to tailor each experience to provide reassurance and dignity for both singles and couples.
Why An Assisted Living Community?
Long-term care “homes” have traditionally been the solution for aging seniors who can no longer live in their own residence and who cannot or will not live with family. However, in many cases, the decision to move into a community is delayed until it becomes imperative, and then causes a significant amount of disruption.
Recognizing the reality of aging and the probability of needing care in the future can help you search for a senior living community that can provide a wide range of care for couples with different needs.
Assisted living for couples should be centered around the needs and wishes of each spouse, providing extra help when required while allowing as much choice and flexibility as possible from day to day.
Two Things to Remember when Planning for Couples in Assisted Living
When you start looking for a senior living community for your parents, remember the following:
- Cost: In most cases, couples living together is less costly than two seniors living separately. If your parents move into assisted living as a couple, their costs should reflect the level of care each spouse needs, and housing costs will be less than two single persons.
- Care: If one of your parents is experiencing dementia or is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, choosing a community that offers memory care is vital. At The Kensington Redondo Beach, we’ve designed our communities to allow for couples with differing levels of care, from our senior community to our memory care neighborhoods.
By planning ahead, the transition from living at home to residing in a senior living community can be smooth.
Making the plan with the intent to implement when the time is right, visiting the chosen community frequently to become familiar with the grounds and staff, and reassuring your parents that the change will be a positive one, can help cut down on the anxiety many seniors feel when long-term care is discussed.