As couples age, they may begin to find that their individual healthcare needs have started to change. Sometimes one spouse is healthy and independent, while the other has some chronic conditions and requires more assistance with daily activities. In these cases, it’s often that the healthier spouse takes on the care giving duties for the other.
According to the CDC, more than 67 percent of adults age 65 and older are married. These couples have made the pledge to grow old together, in sickness and in health, and often aren’t prepared for the decline in health that can come with aging. When one spouse becomes the primary caregiver, he or she will face mental, physical and emotional demands and may be uncertain how to handle the challenges that come along with this new role in their relationship. Home caregiving duties can take an average of 20 hours a week when it’s provided by an unpaid family caregiver.
The Benefits of Senior Living Communities for Couples
Today, more and more couples are planning for their future healthcare needs by moving into senior living communities. After raising children together and supporting each other through their respective careers, they’re ready to live a more “simple” life and enjoy their retirement to the fullest extent.
Many senior living communities offer a variety of housing options and levels of care. Couples who are active and healthy can move into an independent living community, choosing from options like free-standing garden homes, townhouses, or one- or two-bedroom apartments. Making the decision to move together can make the entire process easier on not only the couple, but also on family members who might be concerned about the future of their loved ones.
For couples who are still able to live mostly independently, senior living communities offer a wide variety of services and amenities. Everything from planned meals in restaurant-style dining rooms, scheduled transportation to social events and activities, help with housekeeping duties, and 24-hour emergency services, these communities make life easy for seniors!
Most communities also allow couples who need different levels of care to live on the same campus. One spouse may continue to live independently, receiving only a minimum amount of care or assistance, while the other may be placed in assisted living or a memory care unit. This means the independent spouse is relieved of any potential caregiving duties, but can still visit and see the other on a regular basis.
Stay Together as You Age
Aging couples should have a discussion about their future living needs as soon as possible, preferably while they are still active and independent. Moving while you’re still healthy can actually help keep you that way! Start by researching some senior living communities near you, and decide what the best option would be for you now, and in the days still ahead.
American Senior Communities welcomes couples in our communities! For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com.