Assisted Living for Married Couples: Is It the Right Fit?

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Dear Maryellen,

My wife and I are considering moving to an assisted living community. The majority of our friends who have made this move before us are single people. As a married couple, what should we expect in assisted living? -Dan in Westbury, NY

Dear Dan,

Couples in Assisted Living

Jack & Shirley Millstein of North Hills

Thanks for asking this question. While single residents outnumber couples, we are seeing more and more couples living in our assisted living communities. Many make the move so they can receive help with activities of daily living, while others make it to have freedom from the worries of home maintenance and upkeep. We recognize that everyone comes to us for different reasons and with unique challenges.

As each resident moves to one of The Bristal communities, we develop an Individual Service Plan (ISP) for them. The plan incorporates services that help each of our residents maintain their highest quality of life. It might be by assisting with medication management or by providing a little extra help at mealtime. As residents of The Bristal, you and your wife will each have your own personalized plan of care.

Another layer of helping residents live their highest quality of life is through our Bristal Better U and our life enrichment programming. Bristal Better U is a lifelong learning partnership with Hofstra University Community Education. Topics range from politics to literature. Each of The Bristal communities also offers a full calendar of life enrichment activities. They include recreational programming and clubs for residents to enjoy. During any given week residents have the opportunity to join in on activities of interest that could include a fashion show, computer class, jewelry making or a Zumba class.

Finally, a resource that might help you understand what life in an assisted living community is really like is Seven Things to Know about Assisted Living. It can help you separate the facts from the myths.

I wish you and your wife the very best of luck as you make this decision and transition to the next chapter of life!

Best Regards,

Posted by:

Over the course of more than thirty years, Maryellen has distinguished herself in the field of Assisted Living, and has maintained a particular focus on enhancing operations in Independent and Enriched Housing Management. At times, Maryellen has simultaneously overseen over 29 communities throughout the Northeast. She was awarded Administrator of the Year in 1990 by the Empire State Association – being recognized for upholding quality care, compassion and high professional standards – and has become a visible and respected authority in the field. Throughout her tenure with the Association, she has also co-chaired its Assisted Living Services Committee along with its Conference Committee. Maryellen joined Engel Burman in 2001 and helped establish Ultimate Care NY, LLC, the team responsible for the development, construction and daily management of twelve upscale Assisted Living communities grouped under the well-known and highly respected name of The Bristal. A committed advocate and sought after speaker for the cause of senior living issues, Maryellen has served on the Board of ESAAL (Empire State Association of Assisted Living) since 2002, and today, she continues to play high-profile roles in many of the Association’s most important initiatives and influential committees.