Growing old together is an idea often romanticized in popular culture. It is celebrated in books, films, and songs. In reality, however, it often has its share of challenges. Making the decision to move into assisted living is one of them. While this decision is difficult for couples to make together, it is even tougher for one spouse to make alone. Have you considered whether your spouse needs to move to assisted living? Let us discuss how to help get through this decision.

A recent count put the number of assisted living facilities in the United States at 29,800. Collectively, these facilities have more than 900,000 beds. Approximately 68 percent of these communities are located in the western and southern United States. Less than half (42 percent) of the assisted living communities here are independently owned.

Generally, these communities accommodate older adults who do not necessarily need the care offered at nursing homes or hospitals. Instead, residents may need medical supervision and assistance with everyday activities. 

In most cases, people living in assisted living communities have access to:

·      Fitness, health, and wellness programs 

·      Housekeeping and maintenance 

·      Meal preparation and service

·      Help keeping track of and taking medication

·      Ongoing supervision

·      Transportation services

·      Help with routine tasks

Some communities or facilities may also provide specialized services. These typically include services for residents with various types of dementia. Special care may also be available to residents with developmental disabilities or specific medical conditions.

It may be time to talk to your husband or wife about transitioning to assisted living if he or she has trouble doing simple, but essential, tasks such as shopping or cooking. This may also be the case if he or she no longer feels safe at home or his or her health has worsened. Frequent falls or minor accidents and injuries may also indicate that it is time to move to assisted living. 

It is understandable if you do not feel confident making this decision alone. You may find it helpful to consult qualified professionals. These may include doctors, lawyers, or financial advisers. As elder law attorneys, we can help you address the legal concerns associated with a move to assisted living. If you would like to learn more, simply contact our law firm to arrange a free consultation.