When one spouse starts to decline mentally or physically it is typically the other spouse who provides care at the beginning. Examples of this include situations where one spouse is in the early stages of dementia or is starting to have difficulty moving around. When the needs are manageable this setup can work. But, real problems can arise when the healthy spouse puts him or herself at risk by caring for the other. For example, your father could potentially hurt himself if he tried to pick up your mother as her mobility decreases. Some families choose to place one parent in senior living while the other continues to live at home. This scenario is often the best choice for both the ailing spouse and the one who is well. But, there are times when both spouses want to remain together despite differing needs. If you find your parents in this situation then you may wonder if it is even possible to keep them together at a senior living community. Fortunately, there are communities that offer this as an option in certain situations. In order to find out if this will work for your parents, you should consider the needs of both your ailing parent and your healthy parent.
The needs of your ailing parent
The aging process is different for each person. For some people, the first thing to decline is their physical health. Mobility can be impacted by a number of factors including injury and disease. Chronic illness can lead to a slow decline in physical functioning. Acute illness can have a much more serious impact on the body of an elderly person than on someone who is younger. Other people experience mental decline as the first major issue in the aging process. Dementia can make an otherwise healthy person unable to care for their own needs or even function in a home environment. If your parents want to enter into a senior living community together, the needs of your ailing parent must be considered first. What level of care is necessary to keep that parent safe? The answer to that question will determine what type of community your parents need to consider.
The needs of your healthy parent
One of the benefits of your parents moving into a senior living community together is that it will remove some of the burden on your healthy parent. The goal is to get your ailing parent the level of care they need so your healthy parent does not get hurt or sick from providing care. You may have to help your parent who is well be realistic about his or her abilities to care for your other parent. In the appropriate type of senior living communities, both of your parents can live safely and get the help they need. You can read about a real life example of a couple who came to live in one of the Eskaton communities together. Vic could no longer care for his ailing wife on his own after he suffered a back injury. But, he wanted to remain with her and get her the care she needed. Vic found a way to make that a reality at Eskaton. Read the inspiring story of Vic and his wife LaReece here.