Taking Care of Your Folks During Their Golden Years

How To Remain Living With Your Spouse When Your Spouse Needs Extra Nursing Care

In cases where your spouse is much advanced in years beyond you, your spouse has cancer or your spouse needs extra nursing care beyond what you can provide, he or she might end up in a nursing home. When you do not want to be separated from your spouse but do not want to live in a nursing home either, there are a few options that can help you stay together. They can be temporary or permanent solutions to the problem you face, depending on how long your spouse will need extra care.

Visiting Nurses and Residence Nurses

If the seriousness of your spouse's situation requires it, or if your doctor orders it, you may be able to get visiting nurses or residence nurses in your home. Visiting nurses visit your home a couple of times a day to provide extra help with mobility, bathing, dressing, wound care and cancer care. Residence nurses actually take up residence in your home so that you never have to worry about getting up early to let a nurse into your home in the morning or being awakened by knocks on the door. The residence nurse can even stay in the same room with your spouse in case there is a problem during the night. You could remain in the same house with your spouse (albeit in a separate room) while a nurse provides ongoing care for him or her. 

Joint Apartments in Assisted Living Facilities

In many of the newer assisted living facilities, there are apartments that split off with a bedroom on either side of a common living space. If you chose this option, you and your spouse could live together. You would take one of the bedrooms on one side of the joint apartment while the other goes to your spouse. The common living space often includes a living room, dining room, and a kitchen that you and your spouse would share when he or she is not receiving any nursing care. These apartments are available to recuperating patients as well as to couples who plan to live out their remaining years in the facility.

Single Rooms Joined by a Bathroom

Another arrangement that is quite common in assisted living facilities and nursing homes are the single rooms conjoined by a shared bathroom. Rather than an entire apartment with two bedrooms, the two of you would have your own bedrooms, share the bathroom in between, and eat your meals in a common dining hall together. These facilities also feature a common living room where everyone can watch TV or movies on a giant screen or greet visiting friends and family.