It is becoming increasingly common for elderly couples to seek assisted living care facilities that will accommodate both of them, rather than just having one person in a facility while the other remains independently in their home. This can be hugely comforting for couples who have spend a major portion of their lives with each other but on the downside it can create a bigger burden on their finances.
Here are five useful tips to help make finding the perfect care facility for elderly couples who want to remain together, rather than live apart.
Research Facilities as Soon as Possible
It is better to begin researching facilities as soon as possible, rather than scramble to find something suitable when the need suddenly arises. When you start early you will have a better chance to choose a facility that is the perfect fit in every way and at rates that are within the budget.
While both parents are physically able, begin researching online, schedule tours of facilities, and see what types of care facilities are available now. The more research done while everyone is healthy, the easier it will be to make a smooth transition into the facility when the time comes.
Set Up a Financial Plan
This goes along with the research phase. Assisted living facilities can be surprisingly affordable, even for couples who want to live and stay together. Start setting aside money now so that it will be available when the time comes to move into the facility. Discuss financial needs before signing any paperwork and make sure the facility is affordable, not just for now but also in the long run. Make sure the facility is the perfect choice for the couple’s needs.
Be Prepared for the New Living Space
Some couples may simply ease into an apartment-style space. This is especially true of a healthier couple who chose to move to an assisted living facility before their health made life difficult to do so otherwise. Others may find that adjoining rooms or two rooms on the same floor but down the hall from one another is the perfect match.
Be ready to compromise in this regard, as some people find adjoining rooms or same-floor-different-rooms to be a big adjustment. Make sure there are activities and leisure time for the healthier person within the couple and make sure the medical staff can adequately care for the less-healthy person.
Be Prepared for Changing Health Needs
Just as people age at different rates, their health may decline at different rates too. Just because one part of the couple is healthier than the other doesn’t mean the healthier person can’t suddenly become ill. This is when an assisted living facility is the best option, no matter which person is healthy or sick. Sometimes a sudden death—such as the death of a spouse—can precipitate declining health. This is especially true of elderly couples who are very close to one another.
Sometimes an Early Move is the Best Move
Some couples may choose to move into an assisted living facility prior to actually needing one. This may be due to declining health that may get worse further along, or they may have been planning ahead for this prior to a major health emergency. When this is a full-family decision that the couple agrees to, the situation is much easier (and more pleasant) than a sudden move that no one was expecting—or prepared for.