Very often a family looks for assisted living for a couple because one spouse needs care, and the well spouse can no longer provide that care alone.
A common scenario is when one spouse has memory loss and the other doesn’t.
Determining which care communities have the type of care, programs and setting for two elderly parents can be difficult.
Finding the best assisted living facility for one person is hard, but finding assisted living for a couple has unique challenges.
And when your parents need to move for different reasons, that just right care facility can be hard to find.
Here in San Diego County, the majority of assisted living licensed communities have two separate levels of care, one for assisted living and one for “memory care”.
These two levels are always divided into different physical parts of the building as well, so those living with cognitive impairment are in a safe environment.
For families facing the challenge of two parents needing two different types of care, the thought of separating them into two different apartments is impractical, expensive and often unthinkable for couples who have been married 50, 60 or more years.
So What Is A Family To Do?
San Diego County there are over a hundred assisted living communities.
In addition, there are hundreds of small assisted living care homes.
How do you know which assisted living communities can meet the needs of both parents in the same apartment and in the same part of the building when one spouse has memory loss?
We wish the answer was clear, but unfortunately the answer is “it depends”.
Questions To Ask When Looking For Couple Assisted Living
♥ How advanced is the spouse’s memory loss?
♥ Does that spouse have a physician’s diagnosis of dementia?
♥ If not, is there a chance a physician’s diagnosis would be “mild cognitive impairment” instead?
♥ Is the spouse with memory loss ambulatory?
♥ If the spouse with memory loss is ambulatory, might they leave the building and get lost?
♥ If the spouse with memory loss is ambulatory, do they regularly get up at night?
♥ Is the spouse with memory loss socially appropriate?
♥ Is the well spouse able to provide a safe environment for the spouse with memory loss?
♥ Will the well spouse want to or be able to remain with the spouse with memory loss at all times?
♥ Does the community have an alarm or other alert system to notify caregivers if a senior with memory loss leaves the community?
♥ Assuming the couple is able to stay together, does the assisted living community have apartments large enough for two?
All assisted living communities in San Diego County require a physician’s signed report and a personal assessment by the community’s nurse before admission. It’s at this point the answers to most of these questions will be addressed.
Elder Answers helps families find the right assisted living communities in San Diego County.
Please learn more about how we can help your family find the right assisted living for both of your parents.