What you need to know about Elder Orphans and the Estuary Council's new support group.
Elder Orphans: Everything You Need to Know
One of our Estuary clients stopped in to our Executive Director’s office a few weeks ago and mentioned the term elder orphans to him and suggested we look into it. So, over the past few weeks, the term elder orphan has been tossed around meetings as we began to research it. Who is an elder orphan? What does it mean exactly? What can we do to help?
An elder orphan is defined as a person age 50 or older with no children, spouse, or family member nearby to help negotiate housing, social service, and healthcare options. Statistics from CNN state that 22% of Americans over the age of 65 are at risk of becoming elder orphans. As Baby Boomers age, this number is expected to increase.
During my 18 years here at the Estuary, I have seen many many people struggle with being on their own as they age. It can be extremely tough for us to watch as someone struggles with loneliness and the fear of not having loved ones nearby, especially when the person is dealing with medical issues. In keeping with our mission to enhance the quality of life for people 50 years and older, we want to continue to do everything we can to help alleviate these issues and provide resources for this growing group of individuals.
The Estuary is starting a support group to help elder orphans within our nine town region find the resources they need to control the risks of aging alone. They will be meeting at 11 am on the 3rd Monday of every month starting in October.
We are hoping this support group can provide information and guidance on multiple aspects of aging alone: healthcare, finances, housing, social connections, and everything in between.
These should be the Golden Years, not the Struggle and Fearful Years, so with that, I think we have a definite need in our small part of the world to help out however we can.
In the meantime, here are a couple articles on Elder Orphans:
For more information on our Elder Orphan SupportGroup, call me at 860-388-1611 ext. 204.
If you have any ideas for trips or programs please let me know!
Deb Angersola, Estuary Events Coordinator