The concept of aging alone occurred to me after helping my older parents with challenges like cleaning the house, meal preparation, shopping, driving to doctor’s appointments and medical treatments, and even managing medications.
Is it just me or does everyone who grows older alone think about the current circumstances and ask, How can I create a safe and independent lifestyle?
We know that growing older and living alone is hardest when residing in the suburbs. In urban areas are we have access to public transportation and potentially more people to interact with daily.
According to Pew Research Center, globally, there are 604 million (plus) people in the 65 and older category. In the United States, the 76 million Baby Boomers magnify the 65-plus group that stretches to over 50 million today.
Living solo is more common than most of us want to admit.
Over 25 percent of people over the age of 65 live alone in the United States and the statistic grows throughout the world. And in some U.S cities, the numbers swell to over 40 percent.
Several months ago, I launched an aging alone Facebook group. Members bring up hot topics like affordable housing and medical care, transportation concerns, and countering isolation. Housing ranks the number one challenge for people over 60. It is particularly important for women who are aging alone.
Living alone is a luxury for single people. In my case, I relish having total privacy. It’s because I grew up sharing a bedroom with a sibling. Then, I left home for college and moved into a dorm, only to share another small room.
Many people fall into the elder orphan segment. In fact, research suggests that close to one-quarter of Americans 65 and older could end up with no family to care for them. This makes sense when you consider the fact that one-third of people between the ages of 45 to 63 are single.