Adult Orphan, “Solo Ager,” and now Solo Senior, each of these terms can be used to describe the same thing. What does it mean? Are you prepared? How does a Solo Senior plan for the future? Here at Franklin Park, we break down all these questions and more in our guide for Solo Seniors.
What is a Solo Senior?
A Solo Senior is a term for an older adult that has no children. Your marital status does not have any effect on whether you are or are not a Solo Senior, nor does living with extended family members or friends. This term has derived as of recent due to the increasing number of older adults that chose to lead a childless life. Some chose love and adventure, others were inhibited from making the decision, and still, others chose their passion for a successful career. No matter the individual reason behind the choice, if you are finding yourself in this stage of your life you could be facing some serious challenges that you should be aware of as you move forward.
There are a number of risks associated with not having older children to help care for you in your later years. The ones who may be the most at risk are:
- Elder adults without family
- Isolated older adults
- Older adults without children
- Older adults with estranged children
- Elder couples without children
This means that even if you did have kids and/or married, you could still be at the same risks as an Adult Orphan is. Even still, if you do have a great relationship with family, the truth is anything can happen. Everyone needs to be prepared for their future, especially if you are a senior!
The risks that you need to prepared for vary depending on your situation. It could simply be just the feeling of loneliness or being socially isolated. Elder abuse is another serious risk that you could face. Then the most serious is lacking the proper legal tools and support to live your life the way you want to.
Planning Your Future
There are multiple steps in a Solo Senior’s life and some of which you may never experience.
- Step 1 – Independence
- Step 2 – Interdependence
- Step 3 – Dependence
- Step 4 – Crisis Management
- Step 5 – Institutional Care
Before you take any of these steps, you need to have a set plan for your future. You need to have legal documents that deliver specifics on living arrangements, the action of possessions, care arrangement’s, and individuals who hold power to make decisions on behalf of you.
Knowing Your Options
It is pertinent to know all your living options available to you. You can stay at home, live with relatives, living in an independent community, an assisted living community, or a memory care community. For more details check out our guide to senior living! You also need to have a plan for all your possessions, including finances and pets. You can leave things for family members or friends or donate them to various charities. If you do not state specifics, you run into the chance of having the government make decisions for you.
Your care options can lead to an endless attempt at making a list of requests. This is time-consuming and unnecessary. You cannot predict what may or may not happened to you. The best option you have for dealing with care arrangements is to appoint one or two people that you genuinely trust to make these decisions on your behalf. All of these options need to be adequately documented with Power of Attorney, a will, a living will, and any other documents deemed necessary. It is always best to consult with an attorney, who can also act as a decision maker if you need one.
Once you have an idea of what you want your life to be in the future and have it documented, you can relax. With proper paperwork, your things and wishes should be made accordingly. New living situations and care options may arise, but someone you trust will make the best decision, in the event that you cannot. It is best now to enjoy every day the way you have been and have faith that the details will all work themselves out thanks to your plan and preparation.
If you still want to discuss options and other details, feel free to contact us at your closest Franklin Park community today!