How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone    

How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone

The concept of growing older without household support can be a shocking wake up call. That’s what happened to me after providing home care help for my older parents. The needs they had were extremely challenging for my sister and I, and when they died, it forced me to question, who will do all that for me?  You see, I’m single, and have no children.  How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone 

The care I provided for mom and dad included daily living tasks like house cleaning, cooking, shopping, transportation to medical appointments and treatments, and even managing their medications. And when they passed, I had lots of time to reflect on the caregiving years and realized how difficult elder care can be. It takes a village to meet the needs an older person.   How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone 

According to the U.S. Census,  the number of people over 65, living alone, will expand due to high divorce rates and child-free marriages of baby boomers. It’s why I’ve created a plan of action and will continue to tweak it as my needs change.  How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone 

To create support for myself, I launched the Elder Orphan Facebook group, and since many of us form close ties, offer suggestions for transportation, solve serious issues, and even celebrate one another’s birthdays, we feel less alone and isolated. The online Facebook group has helped several members cope with difficult situations, even cancer, and strokes. We give one another peace of mind and place to go for friendship and connection.

Since it’s a global group, several members have started local groups for social interactions. But for me, I realize there’s so much more we can do together. We are strong, capable, and savvy. Our next steps go beyond making connections but also to form a social and support network that handles the types of tasks that normally family members deliver, such as:

  • Rides
  • Meals
  • Personal care
  • Cleaning
  • Shopping

At the local level. How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone 

A challenge? Yes. But as I say, we’re smart and resourceful.
This past week, groups from California to Florida met to discuss possibilities. We’re going beyond social needs and creating solutions for the following:

  • Discounts from local businesses
  • Housing options
  • Transportation options
  • Food delivery
  • Companionship resources
  • Volunteering

To name a few.
The members in my group in Dallas divvied up the tasks —

  • How to prepare for a surgery
  • Create a list of members and our contact information
  • Where to go for employment support and to find a job
  • Find housing options
  • Research needed local services
  • Locate free places to meet and plan

We’re just getting started on our “aging with friends” plan and we’re new at this but overall, the local meetings have turned out better than we planned. Each one of us walked away feeling lighter, more comfortable and hopeful that our aging alone journey will be void of being alone without support.

If you live in Dallas, join us. If you don’t, I invite you to the main Facebook group — and encourage you to start your local community. Don’t worry if you don’t know how, in a few months, the Dallas group intends to have a roadmap and a plan in place for others to mirror.  How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone 

If you’re open to new adventures and want to learn new strategies for finding part-time work, how to develop new skills, find online games, and discover technology that helps you age in place, I invite you to opt-in to my upcoming Newsletter called Age with Purpose. It will roll out in a few weeks, and arrive via email every week. No doubt you’ll enjoy and look forward to its arrival.  Just fill out the linked form and you’ll be on the list to receive the Age with Purpose Newsletter.

How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone

How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone  How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone  How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone  How Aging with Friends Fills the Void of Being Alone 

about the author

Carol Marak

Carol Marak, aging alone advocate, columnist, speaker and editor at Seniorcare.com. A former family caregiver, who earned a Fundamentals of Gerontology Certificate from the USC Davis School of Gerontology and writes about personal concerns while growing older.

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