If you are currently aging solo, understandably you may be focused on the question, who will take care of me when I’m old? It is, after all, a real concern that millions of solo agers contemplate every single day.
At the same time, there’s another aspect of aging alone that often takes solo agers by surprise; friends and family who come looking to them for care.
The fact remains that many of us may live a long life. Reaching the age of 90 and older is no longer a stretch. A recent article posted by Fast Company stated that the very first gene editing drug appears to be on the path for approval, making it possible for people to grow older still. In 2021, Age Wave declared that the person who will live to 150 years old has already been born.
The significance of the longevity revolution is the caregiving never ends. While many of us have already taken on the role of caregiver for grandparents and parents as well as spouses, partners, and relatives. Trailing right behind them are siblings, cousins, adult children, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. These days it’s not unusual for estranged family members to also land on our doorstep looking for us to manage their care.
As a solo ager, you are wise to get ahead of the game and ask yourself the following questions:
- Who might seek my attention and care?
- What are the financial considerations?
- What are the legal considerations?
- If I say yes to caregiving, and become unavailable, what’s the backup plan?
If you already know that you have no intention of becoming anyone’s caregiver, now is the time to have that conversation with people who may have other expectations of you. It’s quite alright to say no to caregiving but even that requires a discussion among friends.
When should you begin to get concerned about taking on caregiving responsibilities? The time is now. Far before a medical or financial emergency is upon you. Be brave. Start talking to the other people in your life about their future plans. You’ll find many communication strategies in my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner, 4th edition. Start by reading chapter four, “Communicaring” beginning on page 92.
P.S. It would mean so much to me if you would leave a book review on Amazon. Why is this book meaningful to you? A brief review is AOK. Even one sentence is helpful to would-be readers.