Stages of Care

Stage 1: Checking In

For most of us, the first stage is usually when your loved one is living independently, but you start to notice things aren’t quite right. Whether it’s a minor fall, a moment of confusion, or trouble with the stairs, you realize that someone has to check in with them regularly to make sure they're OK. And, you realize that someone is going to be you.

You might find that some of your family members, especially the ones that live further away, may not notice that anything is wrong. Don’t worry — this is normal. Sometimes your loved one will work extra hard when folks visit from out of town, so they end up thinking that your loved one is just fine, even when you know better. Many caregivers in this situation get very frustrated because their siblings can’t or won’t see what’s happening.

Stage 2: Help Required

At some point, you’ll find that you have moved from just checking in on your loved one to taking over a number of regular tasks on a weekly or even daily basis. Without this help, they would not be able to safely remain in their home; so now, you’ve gone from just checking in to being a part of their ability to live at home.

This stage is so much more demanding than before, and there is definitely going to be a point where you will need to get help. The needs of your loved one will only tend to grow, and while your instincts are to say “I can do it all,” you’ll find that the rest of your life is suffering. The reality is that no single person can do everything all the time, and without getting more help, you will burn out!

Stage 3: Having “The Conversation”

As things get harder to manage, you need to focus on what’s most important and to let other things go. For some elders, staying in their home is all that matters, while for others, the chance to be able to watch baseball and chat with friends is the secret to happiness. Talking with your loved one about what matters most to them as they gets older, especially about serious illness and death can be extremely hard at first, but Kinto is here to help. Whatever your loved one's priorities, your first job as a family is to get to know them. Once you know, you’ll be able to make plans to help your loved ones to live how they want for as long as possible.

Stage 4: Managing Decline

While we hate to talk about aging and dying, we all know that everyone’s health eventually fails. Once you know your loved ones wishes you’ll be able to react to the changes in their health in a way that best fits their wishes. You will also need to gather your family and figure out how to manage their living and expense budgets and understand how all the finances will work. Lastly, you'll need to protect them wishes with legal documents like wills and advance directives. Good planning and decision making during this phase makes a huge difference.

Stage 5: Dealing With Dying

We can’t prevent death, but we can do things to make our loved ones’ passing as peaceful as possible. In case of a medical emergency, make sure your {{mom}}’s doctors and local hospital have a copy of their advanced directives. If they are in chronic pain, look into palliative care and/or hospice providers. This stage is really about talking, listening, preparing and acting so that when the end approaches, its as close to your their wishes as possible.