Moving to Assisted Living: Tips for Couples

Moving into senior living is a major life change. But when you’re moving as a couple, the decision and the transition can be smoother and a little easier, especially if one spouse or the other needs assisted living services.

Moving into senior living is a major life change. But when you’re moving as a couple, the decision and the transition can be smoother and a little easier, especially if one spouse or the other needs assisted living services.

“When we get married, we promise to stay together for better or for worse, in sickness or in health,” says Devon Sicard, Executive Director of Waterstone at Wellesley. “This can become more and more difficult in our later years, especially if one or both spouses need a little extra assistance in order to live safely and securely.”

Devon says that one reason why many couples hesitate to move into senior living is because they don’t want to be separated if one spouse requires additional assistance. “It makes complete sense, since as spouses you want to ensure you remain together, especially in your golden years,” she explains. “Fortunately, there are senior living communities like Waterstone at Wellesley that are set up to assist individuals whether only one person needs assisted living or both do. In other words, we make it easy for couples to remain together no matter what level of care needs they require.”

It should come as no surprise that staying together in old age is incredibly beneficial to couples, especially when they make the move to a senior living community. “We’ve seen from many experts how maintaining deep, meaningful relationships ensures a high quality of life as we age,” she says. “Providing solutions that allow couples to remain together means that they both have better health and happiness during their senior years – which is what we’re all about.”

A large benefit to moving into a place where both individual’s needs can be cared for helps reduce the stress for aging couples, says Devon. “Look at it this way,” she says. “If an aging couple waits to move into assisted living until there’s an event that requires them to take action, this can be hugely detrimental to their relationship and cause a lot of stress. At that time, it’s possible that one or the other has been shouldering the caregiving burden for some time, which has already added lots of anxiety, stress and frustration.”

“Moving into senior living that provides a spectrum of assistance means that both parties in a couple can relax because they know the other person is being cared for properly,” says Devon. “You’ll be surprised at how much independence both you and your partner gain back – as well as peace of mind. While moving into assisted living means a bit of change and rethinking some things, it can also be a great new start to a new chapter of life for you or your loved one.”

Tips for Moving to Assisted Living with Your Spouse

If you or your partner are considering assisted living as a potential solution to help make your life more stress-free and carefree, here are some tips from Waterstone at Wellesley to help you find the community that’s right for you:

Choose a community that provides a wide variety of health services.

“Assisted living” is a spectrum and can extend from the almost-completely independent to those who require a more significant amount of help to live safely. For couples moving into assisted living, you’ll want to do your research and make sure that the needs and abilities of both spouses are evaluated. It’s very rare that a couple requires the same amount of assistance to live safely. Make sure that whatever community you choose, the staff does a full personalized assessment for both of you to ensure the health and well-being of each individual.

Ask about care policies.

Different communities may have very different living situations for couples who require different levels of care. As you’re touring different communities, be sure to ask what happens if one individual requires no – or very little – assistance while the other needs more extensive help. Can you or your loved one be cared for adequately in independent living with supportive services? Is it necessary for you and your partner to move directly into an assisted living apartment on campus? While there is no right or wrong answer, you will have options, and the decision is based on your situation and comfort level.

Understand your needs as a couple.

Caring for health needs is essential as we age. That’s why it’s so important to find a place that cares for you and your spouse’s physical needs. However, you also need to make sure that whatever community you choose meets you and your spouse’s needs for emotional, social and recreational wellness. After all, living in a place means more than just caring for physical needs – it also means making sure you have everything you need to enjoy life. As you’re researching assisted living, make sure you’re also looking into the benefits that will make your life enjoyable, no matter what your health needs may be.

Ask about “personal time.”

All couples need “alone time,” which can be a little bit delicate when one spouse needs very little assistance but the other requires more. Before moving into a community, ask about the privacy rules with regards to couples, especially if one spouse needs more help than the other. Hopefully, this won’t be an issue, but it is a possibility depending on the couples’ needs.
“At Waterstone at Wellesley, we want to make sure couples have the opportunity to enjoy life the fullest as individuals and as couples,” Devon explains. “We do our best to handle the delicate balance of privacy and assistance, especially for couples who don’t have the same level of care needs. Our goal is always to help couples live their best possible lives with minimal interference – basically, giving them back the privacy and quality of life they have been seeking.”

Allow yourself (and your spouse) the chance to relax.

Moving from a private home into a senior living community is a big shift – not just from the living situation, but from the ownership situation. When you’re no longer the person who is primarily responsible for the immediate health and well-being of your spouse, this can be a bit of a jolt. Many residents experience a sense of loss and burden when they move into senior living because they are no longer handling that aspect of daily life. However, this is your and your spouse’s opportunity to relax and let someone else handle all the details. In fact, many couples who’ve moved to assisted living have reported that they’re able to reclaim their relationship with their spouse and have more free time than ever before.

“Moving into assisted living with your spouse is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a bad one,” says Devon. “With time, understanding and a firm foundation of what you’re getting into, you and your spouse can make the most out of this time of your life.”

Beautiful Riverfront Community

Located on the banks of the Charles River, Waterstone is Wellesley’s only senior living community, offering premier independent and assisted living. But that’s only the first of many differences that sets Waterstone above and beyond other communities.

Celebrating Dynamic Living

Here our residents live independently in their own private, spacious apartments – but without any of the worries or concerns of homeownership or living alone. All meals are expertly prepared. There aren’t any chores to be concerned with. No home maintenance or repairs to worry about. Just opportunities around every corner and time to spend as they choose – in the company of new friends.

Our vibrant community encourages residents to engage in a variety of recreational, cultural and social programs and activities. Enjoy a fitness class. Swim in the sunny indoor pool. Take a stroll on a walking path. Partake in a favorite hobby or pastime. Discover a new interest. With Waterstone at Wellesley, there’s a world of opportunity waiting right outside our residents’ doors.

Confidence of Care

The hallmark of Waterstone assisted living is the peace of mind we provide both our residents and their families. Knowing that care and support is available right on site instills a sense of confidence and calm one can’t find living alone.

For prospective residents or their families interested in residing at Waterstone at Wellesley, please contact us at 781.591.7113.