Are You an Elder Orphan? What You Can Do About It

You’ve heard the stories. Or maybe the story is your own.

A woman cares for her mom and dad into her 60s before they pass away from long-term ailments. As soon as they pass away, she looks around and realizes: she doesn’t have a husband, she doesn’t have children, she has no one to care for her as she ages.

These individuals are known as “elder orphans.” Over 1 in 5 Americans older than age 65 are considered elder orphans or are at risk for becoming one. Nearly 23% of boomers will eventually be without family caretakers. These figures don’t include the many parents with adult children who are unavailable or unable to assist for various reasons.

If you’re an elder orphan, or at risk for becoming one, the following are a few tips for planning ahead.

Decide where and how you want to age

The best time to decide your future living situation is when you’re still healthy. Find the best place for you to live whether it’s in a walkable area or a place with access to mass transportation. Communal living with roommates or moving to a senior community or assisted living facility can be an ideal option for those who can afford it.

Get all your paperwork in order

All legal documents should clearly define your wishes and be easily accessible. This includes who will make important health and financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. If you don’t have someone in your personal life who can fill that role, you can also look into elder care resources in your area.

Work on your social network

While friends may not be the best resource for long-term care, they can help you – and you them – in small ways such as meals, errands, or driving you to the doctor. Consider taking a class, volunteering, or joining clubs to develop new friendships. Anything that offers repeated exposure to a new group of people can help generate closer friends.

Get covered

Long-term care insurance helps pay for care in the home, adult foster care, or a facility. While these services can be expensive to afford each month, LTC coverage helps protect your income and assets by paying for care for you.

In addition, many carriers offer resources and support for developing a care plan. Elder orphans benefit from LTC coverage because it takes away the financial burden and offers helpful resources to make sure you’re taken care of during a time of need.

At LTC Consumer, we help individuals create a secure long-term care plan for their future. Get a free LTC insurance quote today and speak with an LTC Specialist about your options. Each long-term care plan is fully customizable to fit your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more.