#45 Take Charge!
Janice this is a thoughtful and informative article. Thank you!
excellent article Thank you
Living with A father that has dementia, I appreciate the article. He has always wanted to be in his house until he died, we never thought about dementia. We did think about power of attorney and trusts, so I am grateful for that. It has been difficult with all of my family gone except for me. I will move him to a home soon. His time at his home is coming to an end and it breaks my heart. Thank you for the article. I hope that more people will listen.
Janice - thank you for this article, and for your generous sharing of your own experience. I just wanted to share some of the additional complications around planning for old age that come up for many of the women I work with who are ageing without children, and often without a partner too:
"Connections - Who will support you, and how can you stay connected?"
--Very few of the women I work with have solid local, familial or extra-familial connections; involuntary childlessness, in particular (more than voluntary childlessness) tears 'old' relationships apart and can create a withdrawal from society over a number of years of unrecognised and unsupported disenfranchised grief. Additionally, not having children/grandchildren can disconnect you from easy intergenerational and local connections, many of which are made through being involved in school/kids activies/friendships.
"Finances - Will you have money to pay for future costs?"
--Many women ageing solo do not own property, nor have any savings and, as state sponsored assistance declines further, are facing an old age of poverty and possibly homelessness... A recently study in Australia showed that single, never married older women are the most vulnerable to financial hardship in old age.
"Caregiving - Who will take care of you when you no longer can? Do you have a General Physician and adequate insurance? Have you a responsible assisted facility in mind if necessary? Visit, ask questions, talk with residents, and get a sense of the accommodations for yourself."
--the 'who will take care of me when I'm old?' is probably the number 1 worry for those of us ageing without children, whether we have funds and housing or not. Right now, my husband and I are caring for his dying mother, and as all caregivers discover, there's an awful lot of admin and ancillary gathering of resources that have to be done, and usually are done by children... on top of what most people think of as 'caring'. Who do we 'trust' to be our advocates?
-- Long term care insurance is no longer available in the UK, and is becoming increasingly unavailable or unaffordable in many countries
--The cost of long-term care facilities is not something many solo agers can afford, and the state sponsored options are oversubscribed and often failing.
I share this not to be gloomy, but to show that what may have worked in the past is not going to work in the future for many millions of people ageing solo. We need to find new ways to support each other, and I'm confident we will!
Great article, pragmatic thoughts and ideas Janice. If you're not already connected to her, I suggest you connect with Jody Day. (Gateway Elderwomen)