NYT – Single, No Kids, Don’t Fret – How to Plan Care in Your Later Years

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/business/elder-orphans-care.html

  • How to address the issue when you lack support system most older people count on: their adult children
  • find a small community where she could make friends and walk nearly everywhere, without worrying about the hazards of ice and snow
  • At some point, I am not going to be able to drive
  • of the three bedrooms, one can be converted into an apartment if a caretaker needs to move in
  • checking out assisted-living facilities in case need for more than home care
  • church and several civic activities, develop a surrogate family of friends and neighbors, many of them several decades younger, who keep tabs
  • added protection a service, EyeOn App, signals friends if no reply within a half-hour to scheduled alerts on cellphone
  • growing number of older Americans who are unmarried and childless.
  • Older single and childless people are at higher risk than those with children for facing medical problems, cognitive decline and premature death
  •  22 percent of people 65 and older either are childless or have children who are not in contact
  • “People who are aging alone need to make plans when they are independent and functional” … need to learn about the resources in the community and the appropriate time to start using them
    • include senior-friendly housing and the growing number of home-delivered products and services aimed at the aging-solo market, such as healthy meals and doctors who make house calls
  • hire an elder law lawyer, who can draw up documents that will protect them if they become incapacitated
    • A bank’s trust unit can take on financial tasks
  •  appointing a “micro board,” which includes the lawyer, the health care and financial agents, an accountant and a geriatric care manager
    •  can step in if a client cannot make decisions
    •  client could assign a network of friends and neighbors to call the lawyer in an emergency or if they notice any cognitive decline.
  •  consider a senior-friendly “congregate living” arrangement …  can lessen isolation
  • If not possible, elder orphans should move closer to shopping, medical care, recreation and senior support services
  • One housing option with a built-in support system is a continuing care retirement community
    • Typical entry fees range from just over $100,000 to more than $400,000 while monthly services fees can range from $2,000 to $4,000
  • elder orphans who want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible could enlist a geriatric care manager, who monitors elderly clients and coordinates care
  • growing number of volunteer neighborhood groups are providing both social connections and practical help to older people who are at home alone … Tax-deductible membership fees can range from $100 to $400
  • childless singles can enroll in a service such as EverSafe, which monitors accounts for unusual spending and alerts the client or a trusted advocate of possible fraud
  • In-home technology, like medication reminders, also can help people live alone safely longer
  • For those aging solo, expanding a social network is essential

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