Growing old together is the dream of most married couples. When spouses begin to need the support and additional care as they age, this dream is still paramount. In cases where one spouse’s health begins to decline, the extra care-taking responsibilities land on the shoulders of the other. It’s not an ideal situation for health, safety or just as importantly, enjoying life.
Many nursing homes, senior condo and assisted living communities are geared to address the needs so husbands and wives can continue to live their married lives together. In these senior living communities, couples account for almost 25 percent of the resident population.
The goal of many of these communities is to embrace and support couples as they age. Couples are encouraged to bring personal belongings, furniture and memorabilia to their new residences in order to create a new home together. Daily activities which couples enjoyed over the course of their marriages can continue be nurtured in the senior living setting. Dining, watching TV, worshiping, playing cards and visiting with friends and family can still be done together. Since medical care and other services are provided, plenty of time is left to explore new activities, individually or as a couple — tai chi, dance classes, art instruction or book clubs. Activities directors often organize events on and off campus especially for couples. Sweetheart dinner dances, romantic forays to local plays and trivia games geared to test how well you really know your partner are popular events that inspire laughter and bring back sweet memories of all the times the two of you have enjoyed together.
As we age, the reality may mean that one member of the couple will need hospitalization or rehabilitation. In some cases, these facilities are on the same campus. If a spouse needs rehabilitation following a health issue, for example, the other spouse can remain in their condo, apartment, or assisted living suite. This makes visiting easy so they can still see each other daily and maintain their loving commitments. If these facilities are not on the same campus, appropriate transportation can also be arranged to make daily visits worry-free.
Marriage is a commitment that inherently brings comfort and joy to seniors. It only makes sense to provide opportunities for accommodating marriage at senior living communities. It leads to a longer, livelier, happier retirement.