It is easy for single seniors to feel completely alone.
Although people benefit from some “alone time,” they also benefit from time with others.
Social support enriches life and can provide greater security.
The Bible even acknowledges the vulnerability of widows and orphans.
According to a recent Forbes article titled “Essentials for the Solo Ager,” single seniors often have the support of peers.
Although this is better than nothing, relying solely on those who are of similar age can lead to trouble in the future.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported about 14 million seniors live alone.
This means about one-third of aging adults may be vulnerable physically, emotionally, and financially.
If this sounds like you (or someone you care about), how do to bolster your security?
First, work with an experienced estate planning attorney to execute fundamental legal documents or update current plans.
If the only agents appointed in your estate plan are your peers, then you could be left with little support if your agents also suffer physically or mentally around the same time.
To avoid this, name a fiduciary in your estate plan to manage or handle your finances.
Additionally, healthcare decisions may need to be made if you are ever incapacitated.
In this instance, you may want to choose a professional to serve as a healthcare agent under a healthcare power of attorney.
While it is often beneficial to choose someone with some medical understanding, it is also important to provide clarity regarding your treatment wishes.
Even if you are not close to the agents you appoint, they will have a better understanding to guide their decision-making on your behalf.
Estate planning is key for giving trustworthy individuals the authority to assist you.
Although most single seniors value and take pride in their independence, our bodies eventually decline to the point of requiring assistance.
It is wise to prepare for this reality before assistance is required.
Reference: Forbes (March 26, 2023) “Essentials for the Solo Ager”