Aging is something we all have to do and it’s been happening since the dawn of mankind. While each person is unique, the stages of aging are pretty much the same. They’ll come at different ages, but they’ll still come. Blue Moon Senior Counseling lays out when in five different stages.
According to Blue Moon, “The first stage in the aging process is self-sufficiency. At this point, the senior is entirely self-reliant. They live independently and can complete their activities of daily living with ease. Tasks like running errands, cleaning around the house, and bathing don’t cause any serious difficulties or safety issues. At this stage, family members should encourage their loved one to continue with their healthy habits in order to maintain their independence. This includes eating well, getting regular exercise, and socializing with friends and family. It’s also important for the senior to arrange for their future needs later in the aging process. Older adults may struggle to make decisions regarding their care when they’re experiencing cognitive decline.”
Needing Some Help
Next up the stage called interdependence. This one is noted to include a period where one might need home modification measures so that they can continue the aging process in place. For example, they may need to install a stair lift or railings in the shower. They may not be able to drive safely, so they’ll require transportation to run errands or attend events. Certain cooking and cleaning tasks might become difficult, too, especially if your loved one has arthritis or other chronic health conditions.
After that is a stage of full dependence. This is when an older person requires full time care because they simply can’t live by themselves any longer. The person can live in an assisted care facility or at home with major modifications and care.
Once the next to last stage hits, this is when your loved one needs immediate medical support. They must either live in a skilled nursing facility or receive extensive professional care at home. Sometimes, this care is necessary because of physical ailments. Other times, the senior requires memory care due to Alzheimer’s or dementia. There’s no way to tell how long this stage will last, but it’s the time when you should start saying your goodbyes. It can be anticipated, or it can come as a surprise, but it will come.
End of Life
Finally, you and all of your loved ones will reach the final stage. This is the end of the road and the final curtain call. We all experience it at some point, and no one knows what happens next. Accepting the end of life can be profoundly difficult for an individual and for their family. This is often a spiritual experience, but everyone’s attitudes toward the process are different. Family members may have to make complex and painful medical decisions, which can cause severe emotional turmoil. The end of life doesn’t have to be entirely negative, though. What’s most important is that your loved one knows they are cherished and appreciated and that their memory will live on in your family. As Shakespeare said in Merchant of Venice, “Speak me fair in death.”