Photo: Ivanhoe Newswire

The single senior life: Elder orphans

Sixty-six percent of people over the age of 65 need some form of long-term care help. Most will count on a spouse, partner, or their children for help. But what if they have none of the above?

“Elder orphans,” a new term coined to describe 22 percent of Americans over the age of 65 who lack someone like a family member to take care of them. How can you take steps to avoid this? While you’re still healthy is the time to make a plan in case you find yourself without a family caregiver.

First, hire an elder law attorney to draw up documents that will protect you if you become incapacitated. Designate a friend, a doctor or clergy member to make medical decisions and outline your wishes for your healthcare.

“Really anyone 18 years or older should have a durable power of attorney and a healthcare surrogate at a minimum.” Said Heather Kirson, JD, an Elder Law Attorney.

Next, think about where you want to live, such as a neighborhood with close public transportation. Start researching senior communities or assisted living facilities, along with home-help services. One unique approach is to adopt a family. Some seniors agree to leave their assets to a family who will help them until they pass.

Another way to stay connected, Facebook. Editor of Carol Marak started a group for elder orphans, and already more than 35 thousand have joined.

It’s important to develop a social network, so consider joining a class, volunteering somewhere, or taking up a hobby, something that will give you routine exposure to a new group of people.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Nolan Lee, Assistant Producer; Angela Clooney, Videographer and Editor.

Author: Ivanhoe Newswire
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