Most seniors that are in need of care rely on the help of their children when it comes to planning and maintaining their care. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. I’m fact, it’s one of the most wisely used care planning scenarios for a reason. Adult children know their loved ones better than anyone else, so it just makes sense that sons and daughters would be at the forefront of the care search for an older loved one that needs help.
One thing that professionals often notice is that these elderly individuals without kids–sometimes called “solo agers”–are sometimes in denial about their need for care. This isn’t all that uncommon with the elderly, actually. Most individuals don’t want care, and it can be years before they are aware of the fact that it’s needed. When there is a family member, spouse, or a friend to help out with care, this usually isn’t a big deal. Someone is there to help out when it’s needed and keep an eye on things so that they don’t get too bad. However, when the solo ager lives on their own, this safety net is no longer in place. Suddenly, not having a care team working with the individual can become a major safety or health concern.
Perhaps the biggest challenge that this population faces as far as getting senior care goes is that they usually don’t have a gentle introduction to the topic. Care is not just about getting forced out of your home and put away in a nursing home. For the most part, this is completely unnecessary and unhelpful. Senior care is about helping the elderly to continue to live the lifestyle that they want, all while having access to the help and supervision that they need.
This is why we’re such big fans of in-home care. It creates a specialized type of care designed to help meet needs without interfering with anyone’s life. Care is inconvenient–no one wants to need assistance. But it can be necessary to help people. In-home care does this in a convenient way for most. There’s no relocation needed like there is with other types of care. Again, it’s not the best for everyone, but a lot of people that would find other types of care to be restrictive continue to thrive with in-home care.
Raising awareness regarding elderly folk that don’t have a family to help support them as they age is important. These people might be your neighbors, members of your church, or someone that you see in passing every once in a while. Striking up a conversation with the people around you can often reveal a lot of information about them and their needs. This won’t solve all of their problems, but sometimes creating these relationships can be the bridge between loneliness and connectivity. It can be the difference between an elderly individual who is neglecting themselves (intentionally or unintentionally) and getting them connected to the assistance that they need to stay healthy. It’s a small step, but it can help save lives.