Today, seniors are living longer often with complex medical issues and a disjointed family support structure. During the month of October, we will look at aging for the 21st century “modern” family and explore the unique issues today’s seniors are facing.
According to the US Census Bureau, one in five adults age 65-74 live alone often without family caregivers. Elder orphans or solo agers face unique concerns. In fact, the Hurley Elder Care Law Aging Ally program was created to serve this unique population (read our recent newsletter to learn more about Aging Ally).
The importance of essential estate planning documents
Whatever the circumstances, it is important for solo agers to complete their essential estate planning documents which will ensure that they have a trusted friend or advisor named to assist them with financial and health care decision-making as they age. Having these legal documents in place can also be necessary to access important public benefits to pay for long term care. Building a partnership with a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) while you are healthy can pay dividends as your needs change and grow.
Aging alone costs more $$ – Plan for it
In fact, single people depend more on public benefits, like Social Security and Medicaid, than those who are married. Unfortunately, this is because single people miss out on marriage protections such as having two incomes in their household or they don’t qualify for survivor’s benefits from a deceased spouse. Proper planning can ensure that public benefit programs are available to you, if you are aging alone and need help paying for your care.
Stay aware and stay involved
Seniors who are aging alone are more likely to fall victim to elder abuse and substandard long-term care. We encourage seniors to get involved in their communities, churches, and other senior groups to enhance their support system. Social media continues to play a role in keeping seniors connected. The elder orphans Facebook group has close to 10,000 members. Don’t wait to start working on your life care plan! Hurley Elder Care Law can help you tailor a plan that identifies your needs now and plan for the future. Contact us at 404-843-0121 for more information.