Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Aging alone

WC3 Member Posts: 658

This issue has been on my mind more frequently lately as my parents and I grow older and I find them needing more assistance in life. I have three siblings who have helped when they can, but often have other responsibilities or things on their plate, so most of the responsibility falls on me. I don't mind this, as I enjoy spending time with our parents when I can, but more and more I find myself wondering who is going to take care of me in my old age. I have no children, I was not able to freeze my eggs before treatment, the likelihood that I will have a partner or close friends should I live in to my 70s or 80s, is slim, and my siblings may require care of their own at that point.

I'm left with the questions, "Who is going to pick me up from medical procedures?" and "Who is going to be there with me when I'm in the hospital?" My mother was hospitalized awhile back and I had to stay in the room with her for a week because she was disoriented and combative and the nurse was loosing her patience. The nurse raised her voice and was hostile to her a few times when she was too confused to comply, and that was in front of me. God knows how she would have treated her if I hadn't been there.

I know some people purchase long term care insurance to assist with some age related care issues, but I don't invision that being within my means and it doesn't really make up for a family presence.

And then there are just day to day things I might need assistance with like pulling a bin out from under the bed or getting a heavy box down from a shelf, which have already become more difficult on account of treatment related and other health issues though I am only in my early 40s.

How do older people with no children and little to no support system manage?


  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605
    edited July 2022

    Friends and neighbors! It's never too late to start building a support system. And it sounds like you have many family members who may also be able to help. But you don't want to wait until you need help to suddenly start asking for things. These are all relationships to start working on now.

    Easier said than done, I know. But still.

    I joined my local Buy Nothing Facebook group and they've been incredibly supportive of each other. If I needed to move a heavy box or bin I wouldn't hesitate to post asking for assistance!

  • quietgirl
    quietgirl Member Posts: 165
    edited July 2022

    I do think that the community you build for yourself (often easier said than done) and where you physically live factor in plus actual resources. For example while my MIL (with a chronic health condition) lives alone and we live out of state and my SIL lives 90 minutes away she has neighbors who have done things in the past (my MIL owns a snowblower her 50 year old neighbor uses it to clear her driveway and his own, they share a trash bin, in a pinch she could call him) years ago she use to over and set up her neighbors medicine for the week (she is a nurse). Before COVID she was going in the hospital for some operation (I can’t remember exactly why) but she change doctors because one wanted to release her to home as compared to rehab and she knew that there was no way she would be able to self care). By me there is actually a nonprofit called community caregivers which has a network of volunteers who in theory help older adults or those with disabilities who are able to live alone but need a bit extra (transportation to appointments, weekly checkins).

    But still all those type of things require someone to reach out and establish those connections which can be difficult depending on personality. I know I’m not being much help. But while I’m not in your situation, I understand your concern. You might want to try to explore what type of services are available where you live even if you might not need any of them right away. Also check whether there are any sort of cancer support groups in your area that might have lists of resources Hugs and positive vibes.