When Couples Age Differently
Couples don’t always age at the same rate or the same way, so it’s possible that your loved ones may require different levels of care at different times. If this is true for a couple in your life, you might be wondering how they can stay together as their individual needs evolve.
This Valentine’s Day, we’re happy to tell you that, here at Wingate Residences at Haverhill, it’s possible for couples to continue their married life together, even if they possess differing levels of strength, mobility and overall health.
Our full continuum of care campus makes it possible for couples to make the move to senior housing together, even if one person needs more care than the other. We provide care for every stage of a senior’s life all on one campus, from independent and assisted living options, to memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation offerings.
Offering multiple levels of care allows couples to get their disparate needs met all in one place, which is especially helpful if one spouse is having trouble caring for the other at home. Many times, one partner’s deteriorating health can require assistance that the more able spouse just cannot physically provide.
For example, while one spouse can still live independently, the other may require more assistance, even memory care. On a campus that offers all levels of senior housing and care, the more active spouse may choose independent or assisted living. This offers them a variety of leisure activities and social events, such as fitness classes, lectures and musical performances. The other spouse, who needs more care, may be better suited to live in the Neighborhood, our signature memory care offering that is designed to support the physical, cognitive and emotional well-being of seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
However, it may not always be possible for a differently aging couple to live together geographically, whether due to financial, geographic restrictions or another reason. One spouse may need to enter a memory care community, while the other may still be able to remain in their home and age in place. But even then, it’s still possible for senior couples to bridge the distance and maintain a closely connected, mutually fulfilling relationship.
To help a couple in your life cope with separation, family members can coordinate with their senior living community to set up privacy conditions that provide them with some level of intimacy and independence. And if spouses are not able to live in the same place, the spouse who is not in care can still visit the other’s community often to spend time together.
The situation of differently aging spouses is becoming even more common as life spans continue to lengthen. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans aged 60 and over who report being married has increased over the last few decades, while the percentage who report being widowed has continued to decrease.
So don’t hesitate to start a conversation with the differently aging couple in your life today, and let them know it’s possible to keep their love alive, whatever their needs turn out to be as they age.
Wingate Residences at Haverhill is located on a full continuum of care campus offering independent and assisted living options, along with memory care suites and skilled nursing options, should individual needs change. Schedule a tour with us or call us today at (978) 912-9250.