Samantha Way

Samantha Gowers

Usually when you envision your retirement you think of trips to exotic countries, spending more time with your family, or getting around to reading that book you always said you would… but what do the later years look like?

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There are five stages of care: independence, interdependence, supportive living, crisis management and dependence. The retirement plan you have in mind is probably mostly focused on stage one, where your health has no immediate impact on your family, or your ability to be self-sufficient. Once you transition to interdependence, you will have to rely on your family for a bit more (cooking, cleaning) and maybe consider moving somewhere that will help you when you reach the next stage of care, where you’re quite dependent on others for your care. The crisis management stage is what most people aren’t prepared for – what does this look like if you aren’t already living in a supportive community? The impact on your family can be larger than we think, since care giving can be quite demanding, especially if the dependency came on suddenly.

The final stage, dependence, is for those cases where your family can no longer provide any care for you, and you need a skilled nurse at your side. This is an unfortunate reality for most people, but there are many things you can do to prepare yourself and your family in the event you require constant care. The cost of long-term care can be high, but there are solutions that can ensure your future is protected. Watch this short video to get an idea of what the 5 stages of care look like.