Have you ever heard the saying “Getting older is not for sissies?” That saying holds true for seniors facing the challenges that aging inevitably brings.
Who is that person staring back at you when you look in the mirror? Silver strands have weaved their way into your thinning hair, and tiny lines have appeared around your eyes and lips.
You still feel the same inside as you did 40 years ago, but your stiff knees and aching back tell a different story. What about the volume on the TV? Is it louder? When you walk are you more cautious than you used to be and are you thinking about the possibility of a fall?
These are just a few of the reasons why getting older is not for sissies, but elderly couples have a fear that reaches beyond the cosmetic or physical limitations of aging. Their biggest fear is separation from each other.
Elderly couples who are aging together depend on each other for security, love, and support. They have spent a lifetime together and feel they can face the uncertainties of f life if they can do it together.
Separating a couple who have lived together for decades can be so traumatizing that they feel lost and alone without each other, which often leads to debilitating depression.
Keeping the elderly at home may require some innovative thinking and some outside help but there are ways to make it happen.
The first thing to consider is what does the couple need to remain at home?
- Can they prepare food?
- Do either of them have a medical condition that requires nursing intervention?
- Is the home safe and free from potential problems such as trip hazards, an inaccessible bathtub, or upstairs bedrooms?
- Can one of them drive?
- Can they handle their own affairs, such as bill paying?
- Can they take care of their own hygiene?
Sometimes family members can pull together and take on tasks to help their loved ones stay together in their home. They can drop in frequently, sign the couple up for grocery delivery, modify the home by putting in a walk-in shower or a wheelchair ramp and provide transportation to appointments.
But what happens if the family lives out of state or if it is impossible for the family to commit to that kind of routine?
Griswold Home Care can help. The caring professionals at Griswold can complete a comprehensive assessment to determine the needs of the couple and how to implement the necessary supports to keep them together in their home.
Our experienced staff is knowledgeable about fall risks and how to minimize that risk.
Griswold offers common home care services to help people thrive in the comfort of their own home. They can help with meal preparation, housekeeping, and laundry. If a spouse is healthy but not able to provide the necessary care for a partner in the home, Griswold can provide that care.
Live-in overnight care is available as well as respite care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and post-surgery or rehab care.
We stated earlier in the post that keeping elderly couples together is the optimal living arrangement for them, and living in their own home provides the most security and comfort.
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If the time comes when that is no longer an option, there are still ways for couples to remain together, even when they become unable to live at home. Assisted living facilities are appealing because the couple can live independently, but they have access to around-the-clock assistance if it is needed.
Many assisted living facilities offer several options to choose from. They offer apartment-style living, studio apartments, private rooms, and semi-private rooms, depending on the needs and preferences of the consumer.
Most couples start out in an apartment. If the needs of either of the partners change, they can be moved to another living arrangement where they can receive the care they require, while the other partner is still nearby.
The take-away here is all about options. If you find yourself or your loved ones in need of advice and assistance, contact your local Griswold Home Care office for guidance. They will be happy to help you come up with the best possible plan for keeping an elderly couple together in their own home for as long as possible.