OMAHA, Neb. (PRWEB) March 30, 2020
When imagining our later years, many envision family by our side. But, with more Americans choosing an independent lifestyle and a growing number of adults living without a spouse or partner, the trend of aging solo is on the rise. In fact, more than 20% of adults 65 and older are aging independently or anticipate doing so in the future, according to AARP.
Commonly referred to as “solo agers,” many adults are navigating their later years alone – whether they are single by choice, widowed, divorced or separated. Some health care experts have broadened the definition to include those with long-distance or unavailable caregivers.
While many solo agers embrace their independent lifestyle and enjoy the freedom that comes with living alone, others may find this reality daunting.
“Growing older can feel overwhelming at the best of times, even with great resources and a strong network of family and friends to help guide the way,” said Lakelyn Hogan, gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. “With so many decisions to be made, it can often feel easier to just delay planning in order to avoid making difficult life choices. But planning ahead can make all the difference.”
Whether you identify as a solo ager, or know someone who could benefit from creating a plan for the later years, Hogan recommends considering the following tips to help older adults safeguard their future:
- Plan for future care. There may come a time when you can no longer care for yourself independently. Research all potential options, including professional caregivers and assisted living facilities in your community, before deciding what is right for you.
- Build a community. Meaningful relationships can make a world of difference in how happy and connected a person feels. To avoid isolation, try to identify individuals who might be willing to help you along your journey. Remember that many senior centers offer services, along with meal programs that provide one to socialize with others.
- Discuss your future home. Whether you or your loved one is planning to age in their current home, downsize, move to a senior living community or choose to live with relatives, it’s important to weigh every option before determining what “home” might look like for you. To help seniors make an informed decision on the best place to age, Home Instead offers free resources and information with Home Your Own Way.
- Manage your estate. Insurance agents and financial planners can help determine the best options for professional care and put your mind at ease. If you don’t have a family member, spouse or designated surrogate to make legal and medical decisions on your behalf, appoint a trusted advisor.
- Start conversations early. By having discussions about desires and preferences early on, both you and your loved ones can feel more at peace and better prepared for the future. If you no longer have immediate family or friends to have these conversations with, consider speaking with a professional caregiver about how you would like your future to look. Starting today can make for a smoother road ahead.
While establishing future decisions may not seem like a priority right now, a specific plan can help families and their loved ones feel more prepared for the later years of life. For more information on how to confidently plan for the future, visit https://www.caregiverstress.com/.
ABOUT HOME INSTEAD SENIOR CARE
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 80 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 12 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 90,000 CAREGiversSM worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead Senior Care franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.