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Older Couples Are Often Forced to Separate | Generations Home Care
Older couples walking together on a city street

As we near the end of winter, Valentine’s Day provides a burst of warmth and joy. The pandemic’s ever-present social isolation means that many couples will be even more excited to fill the day with roses, romantic meals, and reaffirmations of love. Of course, the benefits of being in a loving relationship go beyond simple companionship. People in long-term relationships tend to live longer and have a lower risk of depression. 

Having a longer, happier life with the person you love is a great reason to celebrate this February. However, many older couples are forced to spend Valentine’s day apart. Even without the effects of COVID-19, seniors in relationships face a difficult path towards staying together. As both members of a couple get older, each often requires different levels of care in order to stay healthy. Sadly, this can force couples to live separately when they’d much rather face their later years side-by-side. 

The good news is that there are other options. In-home care can ensure that couples with different needs both get the care they require. By helping senior couples live together for longer, in-home caregivers help you stay healthier and happier, together. 

Senior Couples Often Require Different Care

Loving relationships in old age offer a lot of important benefits. On top of helping you live longer, married people are less likely to experience a stroke or heart attack, more likely to have cancer diagnosed early, and more likely to survive a major operation. A romantic partner can reminisce over memories from long ago, provide support as aging makes familiar tasks more difficult, and reduce loneliness and isolation. 

Though we’d all like to journey through life at the same rate as our partners, there often comes a point when a couple’s needs begin to change. One person might suffer a debilitating fall or medical crisis while the other remains comparatively healthy; in other cases, a chronic illness may become too difficult for one member of a couple to handle alone. When one person needs an intensive amount of care, and the other is still capable of living at home, it often becomes necessary for the couple to live apart. 

Even before the pandemic, many older couples could not see each other as often as they might like. Though some long-term care facilities offer options for spouses to have adjoining rooms, the cost of paying for two rooms is steep. More commonly, when one person in a couple needs intensive care, their partner will continue living at home. Senior couples can face a heart-wrenching decision: live together or get the care they need. 

Family Caregiving Takes a Toll

Of course, some seniors might decide to take on caregiving duties for an ailing spouse so that they both can keep living together. While this solves one problem, it can create many more. Caregiving is a full-time job. Many seniors might not have the time or ability to provide all the care their partner’s needs. The danger is twofold: that one person doesn’t receive the amount of care they need, or that their partner’s caregiving duties end up taxing them to the point where their quality of life decreases. 

There are many benefits, both physical and emotional, when senior couples can remain together. Having a cherished partner at your side can help prevent memory loss and provide a stabilizing influence against dementia. In fact, single people are 42 percent more likely to develop dementia than those in long-term relationships. On top of providing a boost to mood, lifespan, and health outlooks, being in a happy relationship in later years is a pretty sweet deal. But when the cost of staying together is that one or both people can’t stay healthy and happy, it’s time to look for another solution. An in-home caregiver can provide the best of both worlds. 

In-Home Caregiving Keeps Couples Together

The prospect of being separated from your spouse is a grim one, especially in this day and age. The pandemic makes visits nearly impossible at long-term care facilities. Even seniors in good health must take strong precautions against catching the disease. But an in-home caregiver can make the difference between celebrating Valentine’s Day in the same home or apart. 

Generations Home Care offers a wide variety of services to ensure that even senior couples with very different needs can get the right care for them. Our caregivers help with daily living tasks such as chores and meal preparation, which opens up even more time for seniors to spend together. For seniors with more intense medical needs, an in-home caregiver can help out with medication reminders and monitor any change in symptoms. We can also connect our clients to other healthcare resources across our continuum of care,  like home health or palliative care. We’re your one-stop resource every step of the way. 

On Valentine’s Day, seniors all deserve the chance to celebrate with their partner, and not just from the other side of a screen. Generations Home Care helps keep you in your home with the person you love for as long as possible. And what’s not to love about that? 

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.

Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. 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 emphasizes 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.


About the author - Josh Friesen

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