29 May Don’t Go It Alone
Le King David is recognized for its warm and embracing environment. There is a great social atmosphere. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the many activities from health & fitness to creative art to trivia. Our well trained staff members are familiar with our residents who are greeted warmly wherever they maybe. All residents enjoy a level of desired independence yet, each one is made to feel like a member of the extended Le King David family. No one is ever left to feel alone because We Care about each other.
The Le King David is an exemplary model that addresses a real social need as relevant to seniors today as it will be in the future. In an article written by By Judith Graham, entitled Don’t Go It Alone she writes about “Elder Orphans”.
“Elder Orphans” (older people without a spouse or children on whom they can depend) and “solo agers” (older adults without children, living alone) . . .without the safety net of a spouse, a son or a daughter who will step up to provide practical, physical and emotional support over time.
Graham predicts that about 22 percent of older adults in the United States fall into this category or are at risk of doing so in the future.
In a survey of 500 people who belong to the Elder Orphan Facebook Group, with 8,500 members, notably, 70 percent of survey respondents said they hadn’t identified a caregiver who would help if they became ill or disabled, while 35 percent said they didn’t have “friends or family to help them cope with life’s challenges.”
With significant numbers who feared losing their housing, not having enough money to meet basic needs, and insecure about their financial future, more than half (52 percent) confessed to being lonely.
Peter Sperry, 61, takes care of his 82-year-old father. Sperry has thought a lot about who could be his caregiver down the road.
“It’s not like I don’t have family or friends: It’s just that the people who you can count on have to be specific types of family and friends,” he said. “Your sister or brother, they may be willing to help but not able to if they’re old themselves. Your nieces and nephews, they may be able, but they probably are not going to be willing.”
The solution Sperry thinks might work: moving to a continuing care retirement community with different levels of care when he begins to become less independent. Sperry, a longtime government employee, can afford it, but he recognizes that many people aging alone cannot.
Sara Zeff Geber, a retirement coach and author of “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A Retirement and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults.” points out that planning for challenges that can arise with advancing age is essential for people who go it alone. advised
In her book, Geber lists the responsibilities that adult children frequently take on: They serve as caregivers, help older parents figure out where to live, provide emotional and practical support, assist with financial issues such as managing money, and agree to serve as health-care or legal decision-makers when a parent becomes incapacitated. Also, older parents often rely on adult children for regular social contact and a sense of connectedness.
In New York, Wendl Kornfeld, 69, began running year-long workshops for small groups of solo agers. At those gatherings, Kornfeld asked people to jettison denial about aging and imagine the absolute worst things that might happen to them, physically and socially. Then, people talked about how they might prepare for those eventualities.
“The whole purpose of these get-togethers was to be fearless, face issues head-on and not keep our heads in the sand,” Kornfeld said. “Then, we can plan for what might happen, stop worrying and start enjoying the best years of our lives.”
Meanwhile, elder orphans have begun meeting in-person and online after getting to know one another virtually on the Elder Orphan Facebook Group. It’s never too early to start planning for the future. If that solution may include independent or assisted senior living, for a free consultation and tour, contact Anna at Le King David.
Content for this post derived from an article written by By Judith Graham, entitled Don’t Go It Alone.