In a perfect world, each of us would transition gracefully into old age with our beloved spouses by our side. Unfortunately, our world is far from perfect. As a result, many aging couples will face significant challenges if they want to remain together as they age. For starters — whether due to age differences, disease, or other circumstances — couples all age differently. As a consequence of this, one spouse may need drastically different levels of care than the other. When you include the fractured state of our country’s elder-care system, you begin to see the full scope of the challenges older couples face.
Independent vs. Assisted Living
When older people can no longer fully care for themselves, they have a few basic options. They can enter an independent living facility, which allows seniors to live on their own in a community of their peers. If they have medical needs that require constant care — like Alzheimer’s, for example — they can move to an assisted living facility which provides a higher level of care. These options carry a number of challenges, however, especially for couples with different care needs.
In many cases, it can be difficult to find facilities that offer different care levels at the same location. This might force an older married couple to separate based on their individual needs. Even if you can find space in a facility with both independent and assisted living, couples likely won’t be able to live in the same space. The needs of each patient are just too different.
To add another level of complication to an already complicated picture, living in these communities comes at a very high price. According to a 2017 survey by Genworth Financial Inc, “the national median monthly rate for a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility is $3,750.” Depending on your location and care requirements, however, that monthly cost could top $10,000 each month. Because Medicare won’t cover assisted living, that high cost must be paid entirely out-of-pocket. It should come as no surprise, then, that many people choose to act as their spouse’s caregiver, rather than face separation or financial ruin.
In reality, this caregiving burden often falls to adult children. Who in turn must balance their parent’s growing needs with everything else in their lives. Fortunately, there’s another option that can help older couples stay together without the crushing costs associated with long-term care.
Couples Care Helps Senior Spouses Stay Together
In-home care exists to fill the gaps between truly independent living and residential care. Using this model, older couples hire an agency which then provides a trained caregiver who works in their home. The type of care the couples receive depends largely on their needs. It could include assistance with medication reminders, meal preparation, light housekeeping, personal grooming or any other non-medical tasks of daily living. The benefit for couples comes with in-home care’s flexibility. Because they’ll continue living in their own home, couples can stay together while their caregiver provides the individual services they need to live independently.
In-home care is also much less expensive than living full time in an independent or assisted living facility. What’s more, in-home care can often delay a senior’s entry into a residential care facility. This alone could add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings over a couple’s lifetime. Perhaps most importantly, in-home care prevents the entire caregiving burden to fall to a spouse or adult children. That means less stress and less worry for everyone involved.
If you’re a senior living in Arizona who’d like to live with your spouse for as long as possible, Generations Home Care can help. We’ll conduct a free needs assessment, which allows us to determine the care you and your spouse need most. Then, we’ll personally match each new client with their own caregiver to ensure the right fit from day one. Once the caregiver begins their work, you and your spouse will be free to continue living your independent lives. Filled with a renewed sense of security and prepared to meet the continued transitions of aging together.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier and independent life.
We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasize a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.