The Growing Trend of Elder Orphans and How to Best Prepare for the Future

The Growing Trend of Elder Orphans and How to Best Prepare for the Future

Growing older presents a variety of new challenges: chronic health conditions, loss of family and friends, and increased frailty. For many of us, with these changes comes an increasing dependence on family members, particularly our adult children, whom we naturally expect to care for us when we have a need in our later years. But what happens when aging adults find themselves without family support? These “elder orphans” have additional concerns that result in not having built-in support.

Although the exact number of aging adults with no family support is unknown, we do know from the 2016 Canadian census that 33% of seniors aged 65 and older are women who live alone, and 17.5% of men live alone. While many of these seniors have family support, some are considered to be “elder orphans.” With the explosion of aging baby boomers, a solution to this crisis needs to be put in place.

Seniors who fall into this category are encouraged to take the following steps to plan ahead for their care:

  • Determine the most appropriate living arrangement, such as in an area with easy access to public transportation, groceries, medical care, etc.
  • Form a strong reciprocal network of friendships, allowing you to help each other as much as possible.
  • Make sure all legal documents are in order, assigning a trusted, responsible friend to serve as health care proxy.

Amy’s Helping Hands is a great resource for older adults who find themselves without family support. We’re on hand to provide as much or as little assistance as needed, right in the comfort of wherever you call home. Our fully-trained caregiving professionals can provide:

  • Assistance with grocery shopping, meal prep and friendly companionship
  • Prescription pick-up, medication reminders and transportation to appointments
  • Light housekeeping and laundry
  • Help with hospital transitions and navigating the health care system
  • And much more

Contact us for a free in-home consultation for home care in Windsor-Essex and surrounding areas, and to discuss your specific care needs with our professional, compassionate home care staff. We are here to help you with current care needs, as well as plan for the future.