We had the privilege of speaking with Joy Loverde, author of two books, The Complete Eldercare Planner and Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old. She’s an expert in this area of solo agers and we are grateful that she shared her insight with our followers.
Who Will Take Care of Me When I Get Old?
This is a very important question and Joy says that the answer is yourself. It’s a mindset. You
have to have the willingness to talk to others, make plans, and be willing to have these difficult
conversations right now. These conversations include signing legal documents, having them in
order, and having money in the bank.
Joy says that quite often, people are surprised to learn they are the person to take over the roll
of caring for someone. You never know who will land on your doorstep or something will happen
The reality is that some people do not have family members that will around when the time
comes. There are community groups out there for just this situation.
There are situations where there is no one to care for you and you run the risk of becoming a
ward of the state. This is not ideal. Joy says that you should do your research now to see what
you may need down the road. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.
Benefits of Aging in Place
There are quite a few benefits to aging in place. But you need to show up and get out in the
community where you live so that others get to know you and you get to know them.
We get to know our surroundings and navigate them by memory, and if we get to know our
strengths and weaknesses now where we live, it will be beneficial to aging in place. You have to
be conscious of where you live. You can’t assume that things will be in place all the time. That
goes for both inside and outside of the home in the community.
Disadvantages of Aging in Place
There are certainly a few disadvantages and risks, starting with the home aging along with us. A
bedroom on the second floor or basement laundry may also pose problems.
Another huge issue is that as we age, we may become forgetful. Being alone and forgetful is a
recipe for disaster, especially financially. We need to remember to keep money in the bank, pay
Lastly, there is a caregiver shortage. There may not be anyone available to help when you
finally make the call to an in-home agency.
Manhattan and other big cities are a great place to age alone, as the city is walkable, and the
buildings have security. One advantage is that it’s easier to make friends. People tend to get
know their doorman, neighbors, and even the mailman. Buildings become their own community.
There are also many social activities you can get involved in that you can walk to.
Outside of the city, transportation can become an issue. Particularly driving cars as we age.
This is something to consider. You will need to factor in the cost of paying for ride share cars
How to Reduce Social Isolation (Zero Isolation)
Joy’s chapter Zero Isolation talks about how to make friends. She says that one of the things we
need to look for when we join an organization is to make sure there is new people coming in all
the time. You want to look for clubs where there is a revolving door which will keep the
organization thriving. If there are no new members, the pool of friends and members may dry
up. You can also seek out new things online – cooking classes, language classes, etc. Just get
out there and meet people.
Another discussion is eating alone. While eating alone is fine, Joy recommends trying to eat
with people as often as you’re able. This can be as simple as eating on a park bench with a new
friend and inviting them to share your meal. Sharing your thoughts and ideas over food is a
great way to meet new friends.
During the holidays, Joy says that you do not have to feel obligated to go to family dinners.
Family dinners aren’t always positive and happy, and you simply don’t have to go. However, you
should be prepared that you may be lonely. A good idea is to plan something for yourself on that
particular day, even if it’s to clean and reorganize your closet.
How We Both Got Into Serving this Community
Anthony is a professional executor. He is hired to navigate estates and probates for families and
heirs that are not nearby or are unable to serve. He realized that there is a great demand for this
type of assistance, and he enjoys being able to help people in this situation.
Joy saw a group of elders sitting alone in the dark at a nursing home on Thanksgiving when she
was just 14 years old. She didn’t understand why they ended up this way, especially since she
comes from a large Italian family. Over time, she realized that it was a lack of communication
between family members, leading her to write her first book. She wanted to get people talking
and we are grateful she has.
Free copy of “The Solo Ager Estate Plan”
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