Life expectancies are expanding as people receive better care and retain their physical health for longer periods. When a married couple reaches an advanced age, there will likely come a time when they cannot remain independent any longer. At this point, both parties may need an assisted living facility if they want to remain together. Learn how a couple can ensure that their retirement community fits its situation and manages the needs of both partners. |
Determine the Budget
Before taking any steps toward an assisted living placement, it's necessary to consider finances and determine a budget. Paying for double-occupancy accommodations will be more expensive than a single-occupancy rate, so it's wise to anticipate a significant cost for these services. Insurance or Medicaid may offer some relief from expenses, so check policies to learn specific terms. If the couple has retirement savings and/or investments in place to finance this long-term care, find out the details to get a full financial picture.
Explore various facilities located in the general geographic vicinity. Consider the physical location if it's important for the placement to be near family or a health care facility. Focus the search on facilities that have accommodations for couples, because not all centers offer this service. It's also important to explore how assisted living centers handle couples when one partner needs more care than the other partner. Initially, both patients might need minimal care, but this could change at any time for one or both partners. Find out how the facility handles separating spouses when the level of care changes.
Find Suitable Accommodations
It's typical for living quarters to be designed for single occupancy, so the unit will need to be large enough to accommodate two people. Ensure that the accommodations provide enough care while still affording the couple with enough privacy to give them a sense of control and independence. Most centers offer planned activities, meals, and daily monitoring by staff for medications and wellbeing. Find a center that offers the types of services and activities desired, with the option of adding more help in the future, when necessary.
Plan for the Future
Implement a plan to manage unforeseen health issues that may occur in the future. For example, if one person becomes more infirm and the staff recommends a move to a different center, consider planning a move for the partner left behind into a smaller unit to reduce expenses. By making arrangements ahead of time, it's possible to reduce anxiety and stress that typically accompanies these situations.
Although the transition from complete independence to assisting living placement is rarely easy, it can be simpler with advanced preparation and attention to detail. Planning for a couple's move to a care facility may be less traumatic in some ways because the two partners have each other to lean on for support and companionship. Once the transition is over, family can feel positive about having a safety network in place for the aging couple.
When considering assisted living, Portland, Oregon residents visit Cornell Estates. Learn more about this service at http://www.cornell-estates.com/.
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