Three Assisted Living Tips For Couples
Moving into an assisted living facility is often presented as a choice that a single person makes. However, it can also be a choice that a couple makes, and this is likely to become more common as lifespans continue to rise. Few long-term couples want to be separated in their golden years, and moving into an assisted living facility together is one way to stay close when remaining at home is not an option for one or both parties. Take a look at some tips for couples searching for assisted living communities.
Plan for Dramatic Downsizing
Even single people moving from a house or apartment into a room in an assisted living facility will have to downsize considerably. A couple's room might give the pair more space than an individual room or room shared with a roommate, but it's still going to require a lot of downsizing. Plus, a couple will have more personal items than a single person.
It's important to bring personal items that will make the space more homey and comfortable for both partners, as well as the basic necessities that each person needs. However, it will also be important to compromise so that both partners can bring things they need or want without overcrowding the limited space. You'll also need to make plans for the things that you can't bring with you to be stored, distributed among family members, donated, or disposed of.
Consider Changing Health Needs in the Long Term
At some point after moving into an assisted living facility, a change in health status could make another move necessary for one or both partners. Assisted living facilities generally accept patients who need limited help with activities of daily living. A change in status could mean a move to a memory care unit or skilled nursing facility.
For a couple, it may be a good idea to choose an assisted living facility that's attached to or affiliated with a skilled nursing facility or memory care unit. That way, if one member of the couple needs to be moved at a later date, the other can remain close.
Inquire About Intimacy Policies
Although it can be a sensitive subject, it's important for couples planning a move into an assisted living facility to inquire about the facility's intimacy policy.
Aging shouldn't put an end to your sex life if you don't want it to, but there can be limited privacy in an assisted living facility. For example, some (or all) rooms may not have locks, so that residents can be reached easily in the event of a fall or other medical emergency. Is there a way to ensure privacy in the event that your door doesn't lock? You should definitely find out before moving in.
With a little planning and research, a move into an assisted living facility can be a positive change for both members of the couple. Be sure to check out several assisted living facilities so that you can choose the one that best suits both of your needs.