What If A Family Caregiver Isn’t an Option?
A recent article in the New York Times examined the challenges of a growing group of Americans, older people who can’t count on a spouse or a family member to care for them as they age.
These so-called “elder orphans” – unmarried, childless people who are aging alone – are in some cases making radical changes to their lives to prepare expected challenges. The New York Times article highlights the approach of a 71-year-old woman whose family history includes dementia.
Her multi-faceted approach to aging alone included moving to a small town in North Carolina where she could easily make friends and walk to important places without fear of ice or snow. She also purchased a three-bedroom home with one bedroom that she knew could be converted into an apartment for a caregiver, if necessary.
Of course, the vast majority of seniors aren’t interested in making such drastic life changes. And with 1 in 5 Americans at risk of becoming an elder orphan, according to the AARP, it’s important for them to know about the options that are available.
An article from AARP titled “Elderly Orphans: How To Plan for Aging Without a Family Caregiver” offers tips for elderly orphans who don’t have a caregiver. Some of the advice is practical, such as getting necessary legal and health care documents in order and making them accessible to the necessary parties.
Other suggestions — like joining clubs, taking classes and volunteering in order to build a social network of people who might be willing to aid in their care — aren’t as reasonable. While we at Feinberg Consulting believe that it’s powerful and important for people to ask for help when they need it, we also believe that friendship is best when it’s about friendship – not caregiving.
Under the tip “think creatively,” the AARP describes a scenario in which a senior considers “adopting a family” to handle her caregiving needs. For doing so, she would leave her assets to them. That’s certainly creative, but we can’t see our clients getting excited about this kind of arrangement.
At Feinberg Consulting, our Bridgeway Care Management & Home Care team is led by a team of professionals who design and implement comprehensive care plans for seniors that ensure the highest level of care and safety. Each of our caregivers are also bonded, insured and trained to handle crisis situations.
We take joy in treating our clients as if they were members of our own family, which to us means ensuring that they live lives of dignity, quality, and respect. It’s our goal to help them solve their problems sensibly so they can do the things they want to do.
We’ve helped hundreds of people do this. In some cases, it has meant designing care plans that allow seniors to remain in their homes instead of moving to a care facility. For other cases, it has meant providing the peace of mind that they will always have someone to rely on for their day-to-day needs — anything from light housekeeping to bathing to medical advocacy at a doctor’s appointment.
To learn more about all the ways Bridgeway Care Management & Home Care can help, click here.