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Staying Together as a Couple: Assisted and Independent Living for Senior Couples

Senior couple enjoying their lifestyle in a CCRC

Can a married couple live in a Life Plan Community?

That’s a common question people ask as they get older and the answer is a resounding yes. Not only is it possible, but there are considerable benefits for couples who choose a Life Plan Community.

Also known as continuing care retirement communities, Life Plan Communities offer a variety of care levels on the same campus. That means that you — and your partner — can seamlessly transition to different levels of care should the need arise. 

But life is about more than what we need. The best Life Plan Communities also provide ample opportunity to have fun, socialize, and pursue your goals with your spouse or partner at your side.    

The Challenge of Changing Care Needs

A full 95% of both men and women ages 70 or older have been married, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Couples are now living longer, which means they are aging together. With these longer lifespans and changing individual care needs, the marriage vow of “‘til death do us part” can become harder to keep in practice.

All of this makes finding a living situation that meets the needs of both spouses increasingly important. With changing — and sometimes challenging — care needs, the dynamic in a relationship can be strained. One person may need daily care, while the other is still living an active lifestyle.

Staying by a spouse’s side in sickness and in health can lead to one person becoming the primary caregiver for the other. This can put physical and emotional stress on the caregiver, who may be ill equipped to provide the necessary care for their ailing spouse. Because a need for increased care can sometimes happen suddenly, it’s important to create a plan well before any such needs arise.

Planning to Stay Together

Having a conversation with your spouse while you’re both active and independent will help you plan for a future you’ll both enjoy and benefit from. The first step in creating a long-term plan for you and your spouse is to evaluate potential wants and needs that may arise in the future. Finding out what you both desire in your retirement years, whether it’s improving your golf game or staying socially active, is an important part of the planning process.

Considerations at this stage include your budget, how close you want to be to family and friends, how you like to spend your free time, and how easy it is to navigate your current living situation. Are the washer and dryer in your basement? Do you have an attached garage? 

You’ll also want to take time to assess future care needs, keeping in mind that they may change as you age — and they may change in ways that make staying together difficult. Are you or your spouse facing joint replacement surgery? Is there a health issue you’re struggling with? Do you anticipate everyday life in your current situation becoming more difficult?

Downsizing may be part of this conversation for you and your spouse. From shoveling snow to cooking three meals a day, owning a home can turn into more maintenance than you’d like. Whether you’re physically capable of staining your deck every year or keeping your floors clean isn’t necessarily the question. 

Instead, you might ask yourself if this is how you’d like to spend a significant portion of your time? 

Many couples find they’re ready to focus on the things they enjoy most in life, whether that be reading, woodworking, socializing, or keeping in touch with family and friends.

The Advantages of a Senior Living Life Plan Community

Many of us have outdated beliefs about senior living communities that can skew a conversation even before it starts.

The old mindset was to think about what you’d be giving up by moving to a Life Plan Community. But, these days, Life Plan Communities are about adding to your life, not subtracting. 

From happy hours to book clubs, Life Plan Communities, such as The Oaks of Denville, offer ample opportunity to socialize, stay active, and cultivate new interests and hobbies. You and your spouse can enjoy game nights with new friends or a date night at the movies. The calendar of events and activities offered at many of these communities is seemingly endless. Here’s a peek at the line-up offered at The Oaks at Denville.

Senior living communities offer worry-free living, allowing couples to enjoy time together without the stress of running and maintaining a home. You won’t have to prepare three meals a day, mow the lawn, or worry about home repairs. Instead, you and your spouse will feel comfortable in private apartments (upgraded as much as you want), while still benefiting from around-the-clock security and daily maintenance of the interior and exterior of your home. If the need should arise for extra care, whether it be for you or your spouse, Springpoint Life Plan Communities offer support for every step of the way.

Independent and Assisted Living for Couples at The Oaks at Denville

We mentioned earlier that the best Life Plan Communities add to your life. At The Oaks at Denville, that might look like taking a morning swim in the heated indoor pool before meeting up with your writing group. Or you might choose to start your day at Mass before heading to play cornhole. Maybe poker’s your thing — or tai chi or contributing to the bake sale. The point is that there are nearly endless opportunities to do whatever it is that you like to do. 

Connecting all of the dots is our award-winning LivWell program, which is sort of like having a physical trainer, therapist, party planner, and spiritual advisor all rolled into one. Through this program, we address all of the elements that contribute to whole-person wellness. It’s our belief that life isn’t just about being as healthy as possible. Rather, it’s about having the freedom and opportunity to pursue whatever it is that you value most.

Located in Denville, New Jersey, The Oaks at Denville offers a variety of independent living options to meet the current and future needs of you and your spouse, as well as a full continuum of care should it be required. Recent upgrades to our apartment homes, such as quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances, allow you to create a space as unique as your relationship. Ready to learn more? Contact us with any questions or concerns or to schedule a tour and discover all that The Oaks at Denville has to offer.

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