For better or worse, in sickness and health, you vowed to be with your spouse from the moment you said, “I do.” But when you or your spouse (or significant other or partner!) require extra care and support, this can mean significant changes in how you do life together.
In some cases, your husband or wife may need to move to an assisted living community to receive a level of care that you can’t provide. Or perhaps you’re experiencing care needs that require more than your spouse is capable of. While these situations can feel heartbreaking, it doesn’t mean you have to live apart from one another!
As a senior living community with options from independent living to memory care, we love welcoming couples to continue living together, even when only one of you requires additional support! Discover how you and your spouse can make the transition to assisted living together.
Staying Together When Needs Change
It’s common for spouses to have different levels of care needs because everyone ages differently. Perhaps one of you requires assisted living or memory care, and the other is able to live independently. But continuing to live together can help both partners to live longer, happier lives. You’ve lived so many years together, and continuing to do so can make the transition to a new living situation easier and more stable.
As each of you age and physical tasks become more challenging, it can become difficult to be the full-time caretaker for your husband or wife. By moving your spouse to assisted living, you empower them to have a better quality of life and surround them with incredible support! By staying with them, you give them all the familiarity and love they need to continue thriving.
It’s important to remember that even when needs change, you are not failing if you cannot care for your spouse on your own. Actually, you’re giving your spouse and yourself a tremendous gift when you move to assisted living! If you’ve previously been the caretaker, assisted living allows you to live with more joy and less stress, knowing your spouse can be fully present to enjoy life together!
Benefits of Assisted Living for Couples
Continuing to live with your spouse when they move to assisted living is very beneficial for both of you! If you’re thinking about making the move alongside your spouse, here are a few benefits of doing so:
- Increased stability and familiarity for your spouse
- Taking on life’s next adventure together
- Peace of mind knowing your spouse is getting the care they need along with your love and support
- Ease the stress and burnout of trying to be a caregiver and spouse
- The ability to save money by not taking on the cost of two different living situations, and not needing to hire in-home care
- You will already be settled into a senior living community if and when you need extra care
- You can explore the new community together and build friendships and a social calendar in tandem with one another, just as you always have
What If We Both Need Care?
It’s not unheard of for both partners in a marriage to require assistance in everyday life around the same time, but your specific needs may vary. Just like when only one spouse needs care, you and your loved one can continue living together without receiving the exact same support they do. While one partner requires help with dining and other fine motor skills, the other may need assistance with mobility.
At St. Anthony’s, our highly trained caregivers work closely with residents and their loved ones to create a totally custom care plan that provides all the support the individual needs while empowering autonomy and independence. One size does not fit all, so you and your spouse can both count on getting exactly what you need when transitioning to assisted living.
Preparing for the Transition to Assisted Living
The move to assisted living will involve a lot of adjustments for you and your spouse. Here are some things to consider as you prepare for this change:
1. Consider Your Spouse’s Needs
Before deciding on the right senior living situation for your partner, take the time to assess their needs. Depending on your spouse’s challenges, downsizing and moving into independent living may be just what they need for now. But if they struggle with various activities of daily living (ADLs), assisted living is likely the right path.
Your spouse also needs you to continue loving and supporting them, whether by living with them in their new situation or finding a place nearby and visiting often. Have a conversation with your husband or wife to make sure you have a solid understanding of their wishes before starting this transition. It can be helpful to engage another trusted family member as you have these important conversations.
2. Think About Your Needs
While the goal is to make life more comfortable for your spouse who has the most acute assisted living needs, keep in mind that this change will affect both of you too regardless of if you choose to stay with them in the senior living community.
Assisted living is designed for those who need help with ADLs, but at St. Anthony’s it’s just one part of a larger community! You can still live with your spouse in a shared assisted living apartment and enjoy life as if you were in independent living. You don’t have to require care support in order to stay with your spouse.
3. Advocate for Each Other
You are your partner’s biggest supporter and champion. As care needs change, it can be difficult to speak up and advocate for ourselves. But you know each other better than anyone else! Continue communicating with your spouse and paying attention to where they are struggling and need help, allowing autonomy when they can handle things on their own.
St. Anthony’s is Here to Help!
Our community is built on relationships — the relationships between staff and residents as well as peer-to-peer relationships. As a community built on loving care and a desire to help seniors live their best lives, we aim to make our home feel just like home for single residents and couples alike.
Ready to make the transition to senior living? Contact us to schedule a tour!