As couples age, they are often faced with deciding where to spend their retirement years. While many couples wish to stay in their family home, there are several benefits of moving to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community? CCRCs offer Independent Living along with Assisted Living and Memory Care, but also have Skilled Nursing and Short-Term Rehabilitation services. Some even offer Respite Care. What makes it one of the best senior living options for couples is that you can both move in while you can still take advantage of all the lifestyle benefits — from activities and exercise to dining and local attractions. Couples who retire in CCRCs will be able to remain nearby despite their need for different levels of care. While this is helpful for caregivers and family members, there are also many benefits for couples who age together in the same place.
To help you with the process of deciding what your retirement options are we have created a guide, A Couple’s Guide to the Benefits of Living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community. You can get a FREE copy of our guide by clicking HERE
Benefits of Aging as a Couple
We all age differently and can require different levels of support and care along the way. Often one spouse will require more support than the other, requiring a transition to a different facility out of the home. However, CCRCs offer every level of care, allowing couples to age together. Here are some of the benefits that come for couples who age together:
Physical health. Couples tend to care for each other in a variety of ways. When separated, physical health can deteriorate due to depression and changes in sleeping and eating habits.
Cognitive health. For some couples, long-term separation can lead to feelings of anxiety and loneliness. When gone unaddressed, long-term loneliness can have a profound effect on cognitive health in addition to increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. For those with dementia, separation from a spouse can lead to increased agitation and confusion.
Cost. In addition to physical and emotional benefits, couples who age together are also at a financial advantage. For many aging couples, one spouse will act as the caregiver for the other, especially in cases of dementia and other memory-loss conditions. This can pose a financial benefit compared to having one spouse in residential care and the other living independently at home.
Support. Aging can be difficult for several emotional and physical reasons. Couples who work to take care of one another as they deal with these emotional and physical challenges often feel more supported than those couples who age separately.
Connection. Research suggests that the human touch can alleviate depressive symptoms, reduce pain and stress hormones, and improve immune functions. While maintaining physical touch is possible even for couples who age separately, it’s more accessible for couples who are aging together.
Why Couples Should Consider Continuing Care Retirement Communities
With all the other lifestyle options available, why choose a CCRC? Continuing Care Retirement Communities help provide the key elements needed later in life, including medical care, social activity, and support with basic daily tasks. CCRCs can help with the burden of loss, create friendships, support good health and wellness practices, and lead happier lives. While CCRCs are a great choice for all older adults, they are especially beneficial for couples. Here’s why:
Care You Need
Each person ages differently, and this is just the same for couples. Often quite quickly, one spouse may have different medical needs or be declining more rapidly cognitively. The other spouse finds they suddenly need help.
Levels of Care
In a CCRC, you get a full continuum of care as it is needed. CCRCs provide Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care, in addition to Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation. If one spouse wants to participate in a Memory Care program activity while the other, more active spouse heads to the pool for a swim, it is possible because everything is located on one campus.
Peace of Mind
One of the most valuable benefits of living in a CCRC is peace of mind. The worry of home maintenance, shopping, cooking, laundry, activities, declining health and care needs has been eliminated because all the services you need are included as part of your fee.
Lifestyle Benefits of a CCRC
Once the decision is made to live in a Continuing Care Retirement Community, stress and worry are alleviated, and couples will have time to enjoy all the extra benefits of living in the community and surrounding area.
Imagine waking up, making yourself a cup of coffee or tea, getting dressed, and then walking out your door to get breakfast. This is life in a CCRC. Meals are beautifully prepared for residents every day. Menus include a wide range of delicious dishes — many made with locally sourced ingredients prepared by expert culinary teams.
Looking to stay active and engaged? Love socializing? Most communities have their activity calendars booked weekly with live entertainment, movies, quiz games, or coffee and conversations. Whatever your interest, you will have plenty to choose from.
Keeping fit and healthy both physically and mentally as you age is important to your well-being. Many CCRCs have gyms and pools, and others are located where there is plenty of local walking and cycling trails. Exercise classes and group activities help keep you moving and engaged with fellow residents.
The convenience of having a large community right outside the door to your apartment is quite special. When you want to retreat to your “home” to read or have some quiet time you can, but otherwise, plenty is going on in the community daily, giving you and your spouse ample opportunity to meet new friends and keep engaged. The surrounding local community can offer opportunities for additional community events, clubs, churches, restaurants, and local shopping.
Aging Together at Maplewood Senior Living
CCRCs offer senior living for couples that provides peace of mind by allowing them to receive high-quality care and additional support whenever they need it. This senior living option can also ease any potential future burden on adult children and family members. While it might seem like it’s too early to make a move into a residential community, it’s truly never too soon. To learn more about our offerings or to schedule a tour, please contact us.