“What will become of me if I can’t care for myself?”
This common worry is compounded for elder orphans who have no-one to care for them. Perhaps independence was once desired, but as aging takes place, the physical and mental challenges delivered through loss, immobility and dependence are the ones that are most concerning, putting the elder at great risk of having a safe and comfortable place to live. About 29% of non-institutionalized older persons live alone, (13.3 million), the majority being women. This number will likely rise for the boomers as a group, since they have fewer children, more childless marriages and more divorces compared to earlier generations.
The decision of where and how to age can be a very lonely one for elder orphans. Aging is most difficult on elders who are totally alone, with no spouse, no children, no family, and no friends. A mechanism to feel secure is now only a dream, so finding a community, a connection and support is the primary goal of single elders living alone. They are scared – for financial reasons and health issues, without a trusted friend or family member to oversee their affairs. Having a group or entity to help when needed and to handle their affairs is one of the reasons that the Elder Orphan Facebook Group was started. People join for different reasons and it is a place to talk about issues, doubts, and exactly what is on their mind. They can join by going to the site and signing up.
Examples of difficulties shared by elder orphans are:
(1) A 69-year-old person, living on Social Security, can no longer afford a mobile home and is looking for co-housing. This person doesn’t know where to start or what to do, hoping someone could be of help.
(2) Using a voluntary car service to get to the hospital for surgery, an elder ended up being admitted to the hospital because there wasn’t anyone to care for the person overnight.
The need for local services is enormous because many seniors live in the grips of isolation, unaffordable housing, unhealthy situations and immobility. Hurley Elder Care Law is equipped to help older adults, especially elder orphans, create a long term care plan. To learn more, please contact us by call (404) 843-0121.
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