Maurice was a lifelong bachelor. He had never married and never had any children. Maurice had led an active life. He was a businessman and highly involved in three charitable organizations. He never regretted not marrying or having children because it had allowed him the time to be involved in the things he loved. Anyway, he had never been lonely. He had a big circle of friends and could always find someone to spend time with when he wanted company. But, now that he was turning 80, Maurice wondered what his future would hold without family members to help him. He realized he was an elder orphan.
What is an Elder Orphan?
An elder orphan is someone who doesn’t have any adult children, a spouse, or a partner they can rely on for assistance as they get older. They don’t have anyone to take on the role of family caregiver. According to an article posted on the AARP website, currently one out of every five older Americans is at risk for becoming an elder orphan. They also say that 23 percent of people in the Baby Boomer generation are expected to become elder orphans. In fact, experts say that there could be a crisis in the future of our country caused by the number of seniors who don’t have the help they need.
Why Are Elder Orphans Less Likely to Be Able to Age in Place?
Elder orphans aren’t as likely to be able to remain in their homes as they get older, or age in place, because they won’t have anyone to come by and help them with necessary tasks that aging can make difficult. For example, an older adult with arthritic hands might find cooking healthy meals difficult because there’s a lot of motions involved that require a firm grip.
Even if they don’t need help with things around the house, there are things that are difficult to do without someone to assist. AARP gives the example of a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a necessary screening that checks for colon cancer. However, without having someone that can drive them home, the senior cannot have the procedure.
How Can Elder Care Help?
One way elder orphans can get around not having a family caregiver to assist them is by hiring an elder care provider. An elder care provider can help them with nearly anything a family caregiver would be able to do. Elder care providers can:
• Clean the house.
• Cook meals.
• Offer transportation.
• Remind the senior to take medicines.
• Do laundry.
• Assist with basic pet care.
• Offer companionship.
Elder orphans can find an elder care provider by contacting an agency and explaining their needs. An elder care agency will schedule a qualified and fully vetted provider to assist the senior with whatever they need.
If you or someone you know needs help with Elder Care in Ada MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable homecare services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.
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