The pledge to remain true to each other in sickness and in health can prove challenging as a couple ages, especially if mobility or health issues make it difficult to care for one or both members of the marriage at home. Fortunately, there are many options for couples to remain together as they age. The following may work for your situation.
Independent Resident Living
This option works well for couples that are generally in good health both physically and mentally, but that are beginning to suffer some reduced mobility that makes it difficult to remain in fully independent housing. Independent resident living comes in two main varieties – apartments or condos, or a community of small houses or duplexes. General maintenance, including lawn work is provided by the staff. Each residence is also equipped with ramps, wide doorways, and other accessibility options. There are also community activities, including bus services to major shopping, so that you don't have to go far for entertainment or drive to run errands.
Assisted Living Apartments
These straddle the line between full assisted living and independent living. You and your spouse have your own apartment, complete with a kitchenette. You also have access to all the amenities of full assisted living, such as dining services and on-site nursing care. This option works well if one spouse needs a bit more care, while the other is still relatively independent. This way the less independent spouse has access to the health care they need while the healthier spouse can still live their life fully.
Skilled Nursing Facility
These are the full assisted living facilities, or retirement homes, that many people think of first. Residents are generally provided with a room that has bedding, a sitting area, and a private bathroom, but most of their meals and leisure activities take place in community areas. These are the best option if skilled nursing care is needed for both spouses. There are facilities that offer living arrangements that allow the couple to live together in the same room.
Continuing Care Communities
There is a final option that can work very well regardless of the health of each spouse. Continuing care communities generally combine independent living with assisted and skilled nursing benefits. For example, when you first move in you may live in the private housing section of the community, but you may later transition to an assisted living or skilled nursing section as you age. This especially works well if one member of the marriage requires a lot more care than the other. You can both continue to live at the same facility, but the more active spouse can retain much of their independence.
Talk with an assisted living community, such as All Care Hawaii, to learn more.