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Finance & Planning

How to Talk to Your Spouse About Moving to Assisted Living

What do you do when a spouse or partner is no longer able to care for themselves at home? While you may have been able to assist them in maintaining their independence for a while, you may have reached the point where it’s no longer safe to do so. Or the role of caregiving is causing your own health to decline.

How can you figure out what to do next and find a solution that allows each of you to enjoy your best quality of life? It’s a common situation for older couples, and one for which there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

When Partners Have Different Needs

First, it’s important to learn which options are available. That means investigating different levels of senior living. 

  • Assisted living: One option might be for your partner to transition to an assisted living community while you remain at your current house. In addition to having help with housekeeping and access to nutritious meals, they’ll receive support with their activities of daily living. Those include bathing, dressing, medication management, and care plan oversight. Your partner will have a private suite with the support of caregivers available around-the-clock. They’ll also have an opportunity to participate in activities and events each day that are designed to create meaningful connections and personal growth. You can visit your spouse whenever and as often as you’d like.
  • Continuing care retirement community: This solution is often most ideal when partners have different needs. A continuing care retirement community offers multiple types of senior living on the same campus. You could reside in an independent living apartment or villa, while your partner benefits from a suite in assisted living. In independent living, you’ll enjoy a rich variety of activities and outings, wellness programs, meal options, and more.

Once you’ve learned a little more about your options, it will probably be necessary to talk with your spouse about moving. These tips might help make that process go more smoothly.

Tips for Talking with a Spouse about Assisted Living

  • Make a list of talking points: For many people, the very idea of having this conversation creates anxiety. It can be helpful to map out a list of items you want to be sure to talk about. You can refer to it to make sure you are including all the relevant points. 
  • Be realistic about a timeline: If this is a discussion you’ve been putting off having, as it is for many spouses, you may have reached the point where you are really struggling. As a result, you may need this move to happen quickly. But it’s important to know that this change rarely happens in one discussion. Instead, it’s usually a series of talks. 
  • Use inclusive language: Another tip is to make sure your spouse feels included in the decision-making. It is usually best to make them part of the process, unless they have memory loss or another health condition that prohibits it. 
  • Share the benefits of moving: While this one might be tough to do, it’s usually necessary. Be honest with your spouse about the struggles you are experiencing trying to care for them. Then highlight all of the reasons why you’ll both live a better quality of life after moving. Be sure to emphasize how having a team of professionals to support your spouse will allow the two of you to get back to being partners. 
  • Demonstrate empathy and kindness: Finally, be aware of your tone of voice and body language. Try to keep things positive and upbeat. Reinforce that even though you might be making a change, you’ll still be able to spend time together. 

Take the Next Step

Preparing and organizing are both essential when it comes to making a smooth transition. Planning the Move is a great resource for adults getting ready for this transition. You’ll find tips for downsizing, ideas for designing the new space, and more. 

Visit the Sunrise website or call 1-888-434-4648 to schedule a private tour of a Sunrise community near you. One of our experienced team members will be happy to help you and your spouse make an informed decision for the future.

Article By: Sunrise Senior Living

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