Categories: Caregiver Tips

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More than 20% of Americans over age 65 have no one to act as their caregivers, and the number is expected to double by 2050. If you’re among this group of “elder orphans,” here are four ways to make sure your care needs are met as you age.

1. Sort Out Legalities

Consult an elder care lawyer for help preparing important legal documents related to your care, such as a healthcare proxy and power of attorney. Assign these roles to people in your life who can be trusted to respect your wishes in the event you’re unable to make decisions for yourself.

2. Exercise Financial Smarts

Although you can’t predict what your health will be like in your later years, you can plan for possible medical and care expenses. Work with a financial planner or accountant to create a savings plan based on your own medical history and that of your family.

If you’re still working, find out how to maximize your retirement plan, and investigate any other financial resources your employer offers.

3. Stay in Touch with Friends

Withdrawal from social activities is common among seniors, but isolation isn’t the ideal way to live out the rest of your life. Maintaining friendships is even more important when you have no living family members. The people you’ve known the longest and those to whom you’re closest can provide much-needed help should you find yourself facing illness or surgery.

If you don’t have a core group of friends, it’s not too late to get out and meet new people. Join local clubs, take classes or participate in hobby groups to connect with others who share common interests.

4. Pick Your Care Team

Just because you don’t have a family doesn’t mean you can’t have a great care team. Think about the people with whom you spend most of your time, and identify those who can:

• Assist with basic activities of daily living
• Give you rides to doctor’s appointments
• Prepare meals when you’re unable
• Take care of simple house repairs

Round out your support system with help from your healthcare providers and certified caregivers from Caring Home Care. Get started now, and you’ll have a strong care team in place to assist you in your later years.

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