Most of us don’t wake up one morning and realize we can no longer care for ourselves. The process of aging involves multiple stages; some of us will experience all of these while others go through a few. Each stage is unique. Understanding these stages will help you prepare for them so, whether aging alone or with a partner, you will be ready for whatever lies ahead.

The stages include independence, interdependence, dependence, crisis management, and institutional care.

You can take care of yourself; you manage life and health concerns with little help from others. During this crucial time, you can be looking towards the future. Determine where you want to live and identify what needs to occur in order for you to live there. Consider how you want to live and understand what or who can help you live the life you imagine.

You are still well and can manage your life, but you need some help. You rely on family or others to perform tasks such as daily money management, yard care, and transportation. This stage can be particularly challenging for elder orphans with no family or adult children to assist you so planning ahead is critical. Start now by identifying services to regularly perform daily tasks to ease your burden otherwise you are compromising your health, comfort, and well-being by trying to patch it together. Plan today!

You can’t do it. You need help with basic activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, preparing meals, and eating. Recognize that if a family member is doing this, it will take a toll on them. Consider outside services to help ease the hardship on family members. Plan today!

Crisis Management:
You are completely dependent upon health professionals and medical institutions. You may find yourself in a hospital bed or rehab center, with others making decisions on what to do for you. Prepare ahead so when physical ailments inflict you or when cognitive abilities begin to fail, you receive the care how, where, and when you desire. Plan today!

Institutional Care:
Hospice or nursing home care are meeting all your needs. Who’s making the decisions? Did you define a durable medical power of attorney? Are your wishes being addressed? At this point, many are completely powerless. At risk most are those with no one advocating for them. Plan today!

Life Managers & Associates is best suited to support you in the interdependence stage when you begin to feel the impact of aging and you need to define plans that will impact the next stages. We can assist you by:

  1. Being present to help you identify and resolve problems that are often most overwhelming: daily money management, mail management as well as other struggles impacted by physical and cognitive decline, anxiety, or loneliness.
  2. Anticipating future needs, providing options and assisting you with important decisions that will impact the quality of your life in the future.
  3. Connecting you to resources and services to help you remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.