Singles already are a major part of the population, but that is only discussing those who are 40 and under. Many of the ageing and elderly population are also single. Their spouse may have died making them a widow. They may have divorced their spouse. They may remained single their whole life. Some may have been long term singles. However, all three of these different ageing singles face the same problem. As they age, who should care for them and who will care for them? Elders are an important part of any society since they contributed to their country, helped their community, and payed their dues to their nation and family. The priority for caring for these ageing singles should come from fellow singles family members and from their different communities.
Friends and Family
Research has found that the single and unmarried have stronger support networks which consist of family and friends compared to their married counterparts. Singles are more likely to volunteer and to assist their family and friends when they need help. This is because single have autonomy and the flexibility to help their relationship networks while those who are married are busy helping their spouse and children. For this reason, elderly singles should not be afraid to reach out to their family and friends who live nearby to ask for assistance. Similarly, family and friends need to also make a point to assist their ageing single friends and relatives. Close friends and family who are near should be the first resources for the elderly and should have their ageing family, relatives, and friends backs.
Family and friends cannot always be there to help because life happens and there may be some bad family dynamics. The next network level that elderly singles should consider is to look if churches or nonprofit organizations offer senior. It is becoming more common to find Catholic Churches that are adding senior housing to parishes and the archdiocese in cities. Certain nonprofit options are typically connected to religious orders, community groups, or fraternal organizations. For any single ageing singles who are involved with any types of community groups or organizations, consider looking into nonprofit options if you want to remain connected with a mission driven organization that shares their same values.
Elderly Care Home
The final option is to consider elderly care and a senior living facility. They should decide if they want to go this route and if they, or family, have money prepared to spend on finding a senior living facility that meets their needs and that they could picture themselves staying in. The single who is looking should make sure to visit the different facilities to ask about what the price is per month, ask any questions, and to talk to any of the seniors who are currently living at that facility. Once the senior single has decided on a place, they should be sure that everything is in order and prepare to move anything that they can bring from their home to their facility. The facility will then be able to take of them and have someone to help them with any specific health needs that the single may have that the facility should be aware of to assist the senior.
Ageing and elderly singles should not be afraid of the next part of life. It is natural. Family, friends, and a close-knit community are the most important structures to have in life and they should be the first ones to take care of senior singles. For any singles who have an ageing senior (single or not), please talk to them about the options that are available to them. But most importantly, let them know that you and their family will be there for them to help them through this part of life as much as you are able.