For a loved one to live within a memory care community typically means the married couple must be apart. However, there are instances in which loved ones may live within the memory care unit with their loved one. While it may seem like a great alternative there are definitely pros and cons.
There are definitely positives that come to mind when families discuss living with a loved one that has moved into a memory care community. The first of which being the fact that it will be less change on a loved one. As neurological diseases progress routine is best. A drastic change such as a move is a challenge on all parties but especially the loved one living with a chronic condition. Families who decide to living with the community with a loved one will limit the change by being there every step of the way. The second advantage is remaining together. Often times those who are ready for memory care have been married for 40, 50, even 60 years. Asking families to separate after that amount of time is serious change.
Unfortunately, there are also negatives that come along with this idea. The first of which being the idea that the family member moving in will have to see all of the bad that comes with the disease. Of course there were instances that occurred at home, but these instances will become more prevalent as the disease progresses. There also holds truth to the saying, ‘you are an average to the five people you surround yourself with’. Not to say that a healthy individual will develop a condition merely by being around. However, a family member may become more sedentary to match their loved ones typical routine.
First and foremost, if this is an idea that has circulated, be sure the community has availability. While it is an option, some communities have differing regulations that may not allow it. A room with availability for two people will need to be open as well. Ultimately, if the cards line up, the family has a decision to make. There is not one answer that fits each and every family. Disease affects individuals differently and families have their own ways of coping. Many families choose to live apart from their loved one due to the complexities in care and disruption they may cause.