I live and practice law in an area with a large population of older adults. At local events about caregiving and life-care planning, I always stick around after the presentation to chat with the audience. Every time, someone will raise concerns about having no family nearby (or at all) or not feeling they have anyone they can trust in the event they need a caregiver. Others will chime in that they're in the same boat. When I ask what steps they've taken for their planning, they all usually say, “None.”
A growing number of elder orphans
Today, there are more older adults than ever who have no close family or caregivers on whom they can rely, with many more expected as our society ages. Sometimes called “elder orphans” or “solo seniors,” there is no denying that this is a group of people who are deserving of the spotlight when we talk about caregiving in the future. For these solo seniors, an individual care plan and increased community visibility may make all the difference in long-term quality of life and positive medical outcomes.
If you are a present or future solo senior, you must take the reins now to get control of unexpected medical crises or declining health in advancing years. In addition to searching out “elder orphan” or “independent senior” groups and resources online and in your area, here are steps you can take to get your legal and financial plan in order.
Forward thinking: Planning to live to 100
There's much you can do, and do very effectively, today to make a solo senior care plan. With some honest reflection and commitment to the task, you can make decisions and take actions that will support you in your time of need, whether that comes tomorrow or at age 100.