Spouses who grow old together will have their fair share of ups and downs throughout their marriage. Eventually, a problem they might face together is that they will be aging at different speeds. One might still be able to mostly do daily tasks independently while the other is beginning to deal with a form of dementia, for example.
This really does happen, and it can be hard for couples in this situation to know what to do. If they continue living at home, the healthier spouse will need to be a full-time caregiver, thus potentially harming his or her own health due to stress or fatigue. If they move into an assisted living or memory care community, the healthier spouse might feel out of place in the new home.
One way to solve this issue or to at least meet somewhere in the middle is to join a community in which each spouse can receive the appropriate amount of care and attention. This might mean that while one spouse is in assisted living, the other is in memory care. Or while one spouse in independent living, the other is in memory care.
Whatever the case is, it is possible for spouses to be within the grounds of the same community while receiving a different amount of care and attention. Although this will most likely mean that the two of them can’t live in the same room, apartment, or cottage, it does mean they will be able to see each other as frequently as they would like to.
Another option is for the spouse who needs more care and attention to move into the appropriate community while the healthier spouse continues living at home. That spouse can visit as often as he or she wants to, and it will be less of a financial burden than if they both move into the senior living community.
There is no easy solution to the problem of two spouses aging at different speeds. While there are plenty of suggestions about how to lighten the load, every case is different and unique from the others. The other thing is to worry about is the financial effect this will have, not only on the couple but also on their family. Paying for two people to live in a senior living community is definitely more difficult than only paying for one.
If you happen to find yourself in this kind of situation, make sure to explore all your options. Look into the different kinds of communities in your area, and figure out the pros and cons of each option. It might be difficult to make a decision, but as long as you are informed you should be able to find peace in what you choose.