Senior Living BlogSenior Housing Help › How Does Senior Housing Accommodate Couples? – Ask After55.com

Senior Housing Help

How Does Senior Housing Accommodate Couples? – Ask After55.com

“Till death do you part” takes on a new meaning when you or your loved one needs help with activities of daily living. You must find housing and care that meet both of your needs so you can stay together. But how does senior housing accommodate couples?

senior couple chopping fruits in kitchen, to illustrate article on senior housing for couples

Couples may not be the norm in some forms of senior housing, especially assisted living. But 58% of Americans 65+ are still married. You and your spouse can find exactly what you need in senior housing if you understand the choices and start looking now, before you need care. Here are some issues and options to consider when seeking senior housing for couples.

Senior Housing Options for Couples

Where you want to move depends on the needs of you and your loved one. For instance, if you and your spouse are simply looking to downsize, consider independent living and other similar 55+ housing options. In independent living, you can spend more time enjoying each other’s company and less time worrying about cooking, housekeeping, and home maintenance.

[Examples: Independent Living Communities in the Atlanta Area]

Assisted living is like independent living with a personal-care component added. Assisted living might be necessary if either you or your spouse need help with grooming, mobility, eating, and other activities of daily living. However, this type of housing typically does not include medical care.

[Examples: Assisted Living Communities in the San Diego Area]

senior couple holding hands, to illustrate article on senior housing for couples

Other types of senior housing that can typically accommodate couples include:

Senior Apartments

Specifically designed for older adults, these age-restricted apartments have a variety of senior-friendly amenities and features, as well as activities, classes, and more to help you meet your neighbors. You will be surrounded by other older adults and retired couples in these 55+ and 62+ communities.

[Why Live in a 55+ Apartment vs. an All-Ages Apartment]

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

Also referred to as life-plan communities, CCRCs offer a continuum of care, together or separately, for you and your loved one. They allow both of you to age in place in the same senior community. For instance, you could move into a CCRC in an independent living apartment. Then, if either of your needs changed, you could move on to assisted living, memory care, or nursing care. Spouses can move together into a tier of care or live independently in different tiers, but still within steps of each other.

[Examples: Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the Phoenix Area]

Aging in Place

Aging in place allows you and your spouse to remain in your home and not have to move. You might, for instance, hire in-home care to tend to your personal and medical needs. Note that in-home care can be delivered in independent living or senior apartments, so you can age in place even in senior housing communities that don’t offer care services.

[Assisted Living vs. Home Care: Which Is Right for You?]

Couples Can Be Rarer in Senior Housing

You will find more singletons than married couples living in some types of senior housing. That’s not because there aren’t accommodations for couples but because they don’t need any additional care yet.

According to a report in the Huffington Post, single men and women looking for senior housing are less independent than couples who are looking. About 40 percent of these couples were self-sufficient when it came to taking medications, compared with 25 percent of single men and 29 percent of single women. Couples take care of each other.

Of course, favoring fewer couples and more singles in senior housing is the fact that women generally outlive men. Not surprisingly then, in assisted living, there are seven women for every three men, and 63% of residents are widowed.

Costs of Senior Housing for Couples

senior couple in kitchen, to illustrate article on senior housing for couples

If you live as a couple in an independent living facility, you’ll pay a monthly fee or rental rate, similar to renting an apartment. Then the community likely will charge a second-person fee to cover the additional cost of meals, transportation, and other individual services.

In assisted living, the average cost nationally is about $3,600 a month for a single occupancy, one-bedroom apartment. With a spouse, you also should expect a second-person fee for meals, etc. Beyond room and board, assisted living facilities often charge additional fees based on the level of care that residents need. But if you don’t need care while your spouse does, you’ll pay only for the higher level of care for your spouse.

In a continuing care retirement community, you will normally be charged an entry fee. You and your spouse will decide on the type of contract you want to cover care. A contract that covers care at any level usually requires a larger entry fee. However, this is smart for couples with varying health needs. You and your spouse can then stay together on one campus while receiving the help you need.

Do Your Homework as a Couple

The information above describes what senior living facilities typically offer. For specifics on your situation, it’s always best to contact a senior housing community directly. Just look for the phone number or contact form for any community on After55.com.

Many times, whether a senior living facility can accommodate a couple depends on their room options and occupancy. But senior housing for couples is available, in many forms for many stages of life.

What Are Your Senior Living Questions?

Ask After55 is a monthly feature of After55.com by correspondent Mary Beth Adomaitis. Submit your questions for consideration in one of two ways:

– Comment below on this article. (Your question will be displayed publicly, so we suggest that you don’t include personally identifying information.)

Fill out this form. (Your question will be sent to us privately to be considered for a future Ask After55.com article. Note, however, that we are not able to respond to submitted questions personally, especially on individual situations.)

  • Follow After55.com

  • After55.com logo

    WHEREVER YOU AREAFTER55.com is right at your fingertips.

    SEARCH
  • Mary Beth Adomaitis

    About Mary Beth Adomaitis:

    Mary Beth Adomaitis a freelance writer living in Southern California. She has written about senior topics for several senior living websites. She also has a blog, Unwrinkled Hearts, which was started after her mother-in-law passed away in 2015. It focuses on elderly living in the 21st century. Mary Beth has been a writer/journalist for more than 25 years, lending her talents to companies such as The Los Angeles Times, where she also served as a copy editor and graphic designer.

    Speak Your Mind

    *