Assisted Living for Married Couples:
5 Key Questions to Consider
Making decisions about assisted living for one individual can be challenging. Making decisions for a married couple, especially if the two individuals require different levels of care, can feel overwhelming. The good news is that many married couples have found themselves in this situation and have made decisions that ended up far surpassing their expectations for care in a community. You can, too.
Here are five critical questions to consider when choosing an assisted living community for a married couple.
1. What are the shared and individual needs of the couple?
On one hand, it is easy to understand how the health or social needs of the person requiring the highest level of care could become the priority when choosing a retirement community,but it is important to understand the shared and individual needs of both parties must be equally considered when choosing a long-term living location. If one member of the couple is healthier or more sociable, for instance, will he or she have access to the activities and opportunities that lead to a fulfilling life in the community? Will the individual requiring a higher level of care equally find access to the help and assistance needed? Ideally, the answers to both of these questions should be yes in order for the couple to enjoy good, shared quality of life. Perhaps nothing is more discouraging than living in a place where personal needs go unmet.
2. Has the couple considered future health changes?
One way to prepare for the future and minimize the stress of having to move again is by getting familiar with the assisted living community’s policies regarding changes in health. In other words, picking a community that works well for a married couple today, without giving any thought to advanced or new health needs down the road, may mean another move in the future. One solution is a Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). To be considered a CCRC, the community must offer three types of care on one site: independent living, assisted living and long-term care. A couple who moves into a CCRC has the flexibility and freedom of requiring different levels of care over the long haul without having to uproot and relocate in the future.
3. How important is cohabitation to the couple?
Many assisted living communities welcome married couples facing different health needs, but providing the right level of care may require the couple to live in separate housing spaces on-site. For some couples, this isn’t the end of the world. Living in essentially the same location still enables them to visit each other daily and have their varying health needs met independently. It can also relieve the healthier of the two individuals from caretaking responsibilities that can prove to be too much. For other couples, this is a deal breaker and should be carefully considered when selecting the right assisted living community. Either way, this decision can be emotionally difficult and should be given careful thought and consideration.
4. What amenities and opportunities does the couple want to enjoy?
Regardless of specific health needs or challenges, most seniors want to enjoy activities, exercise, entertainment and friendships within their assisted living community. Additionally, depending on the level of mobility and independence, couples may want the option to come and go as they please with access to restaurants, shopping and medical centers in town. The bottom line is amenities are a big deal when selecting the right community. Amenities should be enriching as well as convenient for both members of the married couple. Consider whether or not the following are important: community center, dining room(s), fitness center, guest accommodations, hair salon, library, theater and walking trails. These are just scratching the surface of what an excellent assisted living community can provide.
5. Does the assisted living community offer personal enrichment opportunities?
Many couples have found their greatest, most rewarding years to be in retirement. Specifically, while living in an assisted living community. One of the key differences between an average assisted living community and an excellent one is the number of personal enrichment opportunities made available to community members. An excellent community will help residents find meaning, usefulness and purpose in daily life. Additionally, it will help community members reach their full potential–physically, mentally and socially. When looking for the right community, it is important to look for one that values its members and champions total wellness for every individual.
Ready to see an example of a community who can answer all 5 of these questions in positive ways? Look no further.
Here are Medford Leas we care deeply about each of our community members. Located in charming Medford, New Jersey, we are an accredited continuing care retirement community, spread across two campuses, providing a uniquely fulfilling living experience to adults age 55 and older. We are committed to couples with varying health care needs. Specifically, we provide the highest standards of care, enriching the lives of each of our members with specialized support. We are proud to offer assisted living, rehabilitation, long-term care, as well as additional services–all of which are backed by our unique Seven Dimensions of Wellness.
We’d love to meet you and show you around. We think you’ll love it here as much as we do. Stop by or contact us today.