As couples age together, their needs change. One of the major concerns for seniors and their families is whether the couple can stay together or not when entering assisted living. Whether you're one half of a couple or you're a family member, understanding the intricacies of senior living is a first step in making a major move.
Finding a Fit
Not every senior living situation is the same. There's a wide variety of choices out there, depending on the situation. There are more than 30,000 assisted living communities in the U.S. alone. Some things to consider when finding the right fit are the couple's health issues, finances and the care that the facility offers. Keep in mind, the person who needs more care will probably end up dictating the fit for the couple. Assisted living settings offer the best of both worlds — nursing and healthcare help and the ability to live in a less restrictive, home-like environment.
Creating a Checklist
So how do you find the right fit? You need to write out every issue that's relevant for both partners. Start with individual needs. These don't only include medical needs (of course, the list should definitely include these too). The needs are defined by each member of the couple and could cover anything from a single-floor living space and walk-in showers to an on-site restaurant-style eating option.
Along with individual needs, understanding needs of couples can help to determine which type of housing/care pick is the right fit. Organizing the list based on broad or general categories can help the couple to see any overlap — where both of their needs meet. For example, create columns that include amenities, care needs, social activities, classes or available non-medical services (such as an in-facility salon, swimming pool or gym).
Asking for Help
Finding the 'perfect' assisted living facility isn't always easy. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. There are plenty of people who can help couples and families to make informed decisions. Going it alone isn't necessary — for anyone.
If you're struggling to find a suitable place that meets all of your or the couple's needs, start putting together a team of experts to help out. A senior living adviser can assist with getting the details about facilities, a financial planner can make sure that the couple can afford a long-term living situation in a skilled care environment, and doctors can help the couple to figure out exactly how much nursing or assisted care each member of the couple requires now and in the near future.
Don't forget about asking from help directly from the assisted living facility too. The facility's director, staff members, nursing care coordinator, and other key employees can help you to better understand if it's the right fit for both couple members. They may also be able to help the couple (or their loved ones) to understand the financial issues involved.
Look into communities like Alta Ridge Communities as you search for the best place for you or others.