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Assisted Living for Couples
What's Available for Couples and Roommates in Assisted Living?

Shared Senior Living Spaces

Finding assisted living for a couple with similar needs is an easy solution, at least simpler than finding one for a couple with differing personal care needs. That'll take a balancing act.

When seeking assisted living for two people with very different needs in their lives yet who want to stay together, allowances for their various needs are unavoidable. The best thing to do is work with the couple and the family members to develop a balanced middle ground and then find a facility that matches their criteria.

Making the move to an assisted living facility is a significant change, but if a couple can make that move together, the decision becomes a little easier.

Assisted Living Homes for Couples?

Couples living in assisted living
Couples living in assisted living

In senior housing, they choose a range of living space from apartments to a suite.

Upgrades include amenities like garden, ocean or lake views, a variety of floor-plans, kitchenette or full kitchen, hand-held and even sit-down shower enclosures with wheelchair accessibility.

The size and types of care selections designed to fit their specific requirements and desires.

Rooms for Couples

A married couple or partners usually move into an assisted living community together. Whether each person needs assistance with daily living or just an occasional hand with housekeeping, couples choose an apartment setting.

Several plans accommodate an older couple's needs:

  • One or two-bedroom apartments
  • Studio
  • Full condo
  • Shared room

The majority prefer living in an apartment. Residents have access to all common areas throughout the community.

Plan for the Future

When the day comes that the partner or significant other requires more care than the assisted living facility can give, the couple moves to another wing within the same community, if available. For example, the couple would go to the skilled nursing, or memory care wing, on the same campus of the senior housing community.

The choice is their's to make. The wife could remain in assisted living while the husband moves to skilled nursing. She gains access to skilled nursing and can visit when she wants. The couple spends most of the day together.

Needs Assessment and Pre-Screening

Pre-screened for health conditions
Pre-screened for health conditions

Assisted living facilities conduct need assessments before residents move in. Assessments help determine the initial level of care. After that, residents receive an evaluation every 30 days and at six-month intervals.

Primary assessment:

Is the resident bed-bound or immobilized?

Does the resident exhibit behavior that presents serious harm to self or others?

Does the resident use medication as a chemical restraint? (not used to treat a medical condition)

Does the resident require more than one person to assist physically with activities of daily living other than bathing and transferring?

Personal Care needs checklist

  • Bathing
  • Dental care
  • Hair care
  • Shaving
  • Toe and fingernail care
  • Bladder and bowel control
  • Catheter or ostomy

Dietary

  • Eats meals daily
  • Meal preparation
  • Chewing and swallowing
  • Special diet

Mobility

  • Able to get around
  • Transfer to and from bed
  • Transfer to and chair
  • Transfer to and from wheelchair
  • Safely evacuates facility

Housekeeping

  • Cleans bedroom, bathroom, kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Makes bed
  • Empty trash

Behavior and Mental Status

  • Oriented to the time, day, and place
  • Wanders or confused
  • Memory recall
  • Judgement
  • Sociability

Transportation

  • Drives self
  • Can leave facility with assistance

Assisted Living Costs for Couples

Paying for care
Paying for care

When one person needs more care than the other, the spouse only pays for room and board, while the other with more needs, pay for specific services.

They're charged monthly for one room or one-bedroom apartment with added fees for the personal care that the second person needs. Each person pays only for the care they require.

Assisted living room and board start as low as $1,500 per month; however, that price is higher depending on the level of care each resident needs. It also varies a great deal from state to state so be sure to check the costs in your area.

Some assisted living communities use a tiered pricing model with bundled services. Other pricing models include all-inclusive, a la carte, or fee-for-service basis.

Assisted living facilities are great for couples who are independent but need some assistance with one of the more activities of daily living. Senior living communities add the best benefit of all, socialization with peers and fun activities.

Carol Marak
Carol Marak

After seven years of helping her aging parents, Carol Marak has become a dedicated senior care writer. Since 2007, she has been doing the research to find answers to common concerns: housing, aging and health, staying safe and independent, and planning long-term.