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The stories of two families that come to mind, neither of them related to me.

In the first a neighbourhood couple shared a room at the nursing home for several years, she eventually became totally bedbound but he was still somewhat mobile, both had cognitive deficits. I was told by a family member that one day he became enraged that his wife wouldn't get out of bed or acknowledge him and he became violent toward her, staff didn't know what was going on until they did a routine check.

The other couple lived at my mom's nursing home. He had dementia and was a wanderer, I never knew why she needed that level of care because she "seemed" fine (but since she predeceased him obviously wasn't). The problem with this couple was that she was exhausting herself trying to get him to behave, trying to continue as his caregiver. Eventually the family had them separated.
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Sendhelp Jun 5, 2021
That clears up a whole lot for me, so thanks, CWillie!

Trying to get him to behave, yeah, that wouldn't work no matter where one lives.
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I'd be wary of doing that. My mother was originally in skilled nursing (because I didn't know the difference at the time), and she darned near perished from neglect, if you can believe it. She wouldn't eat in the dining room because everyone else in there was stroke patient being fed or dribbling food all over themselves, and there were no stimulating activities geared toward dementia patients, so she just stayed in her room largely alone except when her meals and meds were delivered.

Memory care is very different treatment than skilled nursing, and much as you'd like the two of them to be together, one will suffer for the lack of their type of care. I'd check very carefully on any place that offers two levels of care in one room to ensure one person isn't getting the short shrift.

People who need memory care
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MJ1929 Jun 5, 2021
Ignore the final line. Bad editing job with the sun shining on my screen. :-)
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You would need to find a facility that offers both. Where I live the NH facilities only offer rehab and skilled nursing. The one AL we have offers MC but not skilled nursing. Then we have a community that has independent living, assisted living and Skilled nursing all in the same community. You maybe able to find a skilled nursing facility that will take someone that needs MC and will allow the couple to stay together. But don't think its going to be all that much cheaper. In NHs fees are based on 2 people to a room. So they get 20k a month for one room.
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Years ago, I volunteered with hospice and one of my patients lived on the memory care unit of this facility, and his wife lived on the skilled nursing wing of the facility. Because all memory care units are kept locked for the patients safety, they would not allow them to live together in the same unit, however, every afternoon, they would bring the husband to his wife's room, where they were able to spend several hours together, and when the wife wanted, she was able to go into the memory unit as well.
I don't know if things have changed since then as that was about 10 years ago, but being that the care required for both are very different, it may not have, as a facility has to do what is best for their patients.
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I would think it matters if the one needing MC wanders or would forget who their roommate is to them and perhaps become anxious or violent or constantly pester the other. It may “work” this month and not the next.
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No reason why it shouldn't work in the right facility. What are the skilled nursing person's main needs?
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