The term elder orphan is a real term and a real reality for many older adults. Some find themselves within the population because they remained single and childless. What about a population where there are children, grandchildren, or maybe an X-spouse who has not shown themselves responsible or willing to step in when care is needed. Getting older has its own set of stressors, but being alone on the journey has to be very difficult.
Today, I spoke with a friend who asked what will I do when I cannot take care of myself. She states “ I have irresponsible kinfolk and their only perspective is ‘self’ and what is in it for them.” I thought to myself as I listened to her…how painful that must feel. The feeling of being in a crowded room and feeling alone is scary just thinking about it. No matter how wonderful and grand our family members may be, they could decide’ not me.’ So to help this population, I did a little digging and wanted to share some suggestions or insights. Feel free to offer your perspective as well. Old age is everyone’s business, orphaned or not.
Start with my Black Book Perspective. The acronym is B-R-I-S-K. Put in writing all your worldly possessions and desires. What I mean, is get your business affairs in the physical view. This will help you plan a strategy for whom to contact as an agent over your personal and business affairs.
You need to have medical power of attorney if you have a health condition where you can speak for yourself. Considering selling property and moving into a senior community where you are around others. Work with agencies that help the elderly plan. Area Agencies on Aging(AAA) is a network of national organizations that can offer directions and support. The website link: USAging
This is a great start if you are considered an elder orphan, real or by default. Remember this acronym:
S-Support(be it friend, family, or agent)
K-Known wishes put in writing
As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, we know preparing for life circumstances can be unsettling. It is vital to know that reaching out for guidance is critical. There is an awesome network of selfless individuals in the caregiving space available to assist. Just ask! Be safe! Be well and know you are never alone!