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aging alone

Excel As You Age: Building Your Support System for Successfully Aging Solo

Kensington Park Senior Living is proud to host our next essential educational webinar “Caring for Solo Agers: Building Your Support System for Successful Aging.” 

This insightful Zoom event is dedicated to exploring the unique challenges faced by seniors aging solo—those without a partner, children, or kin to assist in their care. 

Our expert panel includes: 

Discussion topics include legal considerations such as power of attorney, clinical care aspects, and practical strategies for living arrangements and downsizing. 

This session promises to be a valuable resource for solo agers equipping them with the knowledge to navigate this phase of life with confidence. 

Continue reading to learn more about solo aging and how to build a robust support network, which includes appointing a power of attorney (POA), deciding where to live, and how to start planning.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

What is solo aging?

Solo aging refers to seniors who find themselves without a partner, children, or close kin to rely on for support as they age.

In the United States, approximately 27% of seniors are considered to be solo agers.

Solo agers are not without options. Senior living communities such as Kensington Park offer a supportive solution by offering a community environment filled with a network of support and care that might not be available elsewhere.

How to appoint an agent under power of attorney (POA)

The absence of close family members or caregivers doe not preclude solo agers from appointing a Power of Attorney (POA).

A POA is a legal document that grants a trusted individual the authority to make decisions on your behalf, especially if you cannot do so. 

Traditionally, a POA is often a family member such as a child or spouse, but solo agers have alternatives such as: 

  • Appointing lawyers
  • Financial advisers
  • Healt hcare professionals 

These individuals can bring their expertise and objectivity to managing your affairs.

To appoint a POA, solo agers should follow these steps

  1. Identify a trusted professional, such as an attorney or financial advisor.
  2. Consult with a legal professional to ensure the POA document is valid.
  3. Draft and sign the POA document with your attorney and get it notarized. 
  4. Communicate your wishes to your chosen POA agent.
  5. Keep the document accessible and provide copies to your agent and relevant institutions, such as banks, hospitals, and doctors’ offices.

Your legal options as a solo ager

Solo aging necessitates the preparation of key legal documents to make sure your wishes are respected and your affairs are in order. 

These documents include:

  • Power of Attorney: Authorizes an agent to make decisions on your behalf.
  • Living will: Outlines your preferences for medical care in end-of-life situations.
  • Last will and testament: Specifies how your assets should be distributed after your passing.
  • Health care proxy or directive: Designates someone to make health care decisions if you’re unable to. 

Alternative legal options for decision-making

For those without close family, alternative options may include:

  • Appointing a professional as a POA: Such as a lawyer or financial advisor.
  • Trusts: For financial matters, setting up a trust can help manage your assets.
  • Guardianship arrangements: In certain circumstances, a court-appointed guardian can be considered. 

How to decide where to live as you age on your own

For solo agers, selecting an ideal place to live is a key step towards a fulfilling, worry-free lifestyle. 

Communities such as Kensington Park exemplify the perfect blend of comfort, accessibility, and comprehensive care.

Housing options for solo agers

There are several housing choices available, each designed to meet different levels of need:

  • Independent living: Ideal for mostly self-sufficient seniors who appreciate living in a community environment.
  • Assisted living: Perfect for those who value their independence, but need some assistance daily.
  • Continuing care communities: These communities are adaptable, providing varying levels of care, such as memory care support if a resident’s needs evolve.

Factors to consider in your decision

When choosing the right community, consider health care accessibility, social connectivity, and affordability. 

Assess your needs to consider your current and anticipated health and lifestyle needs and visit various communities to get a firsthand feel for the environment and amenities they offer.

Planning for care assistance as you age

The solo aging journey brings challenges and opportunities, especially when it comes to planning for the future. 

Planning for aging is more than just ticking boxes but is about understanding and planning for your health care needs as they evolve.

Start by thoughtfully considering what kind of health care support you will need down the line, both immediately and as you grow older.

Consider supportive living options, like those found at Kensington Park. 

Here, you will find a continuum of care that adapts to your journey to allow you to “age in place” even if your health care needs change drastically.

Start by decluttering

When it comes to moving and downsizing, think of it as a new chapter, a chance to declutter not just your space, but your life. 

Keep those treasures that tell a story and let go of the rest. 

If it feels overwhelming, remember some people and services specialize in making this transition as smooth as possible. You don’t have to do it alone.

Keep an open mind

Lastly, stay flexible and open to change. If your needs shift, that is okay. 

It is all part of the journey to finding a living situation that feels like home where you can be comfortable, cared for, and connected every step of the way.

Signs it’s time to make the move into senior living

Recognizing when it is time to transition to a senior living community can make all the difference in your quality of life. 

Here are key signs to look out for:

  • Increased difficulty with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, or cooking
  • Safety concerns, such as increased falls or feeling unsafe alone
  • Health care needs, such as increasing medical needs or managing medications
  • Feeling isolated or cut off from social activities
  • Home maintenance challenges, such as being overwhelmed by the upkeep of your home

Aging solo: Make the move to Kensington Park Senior Living

Kensington Park Senior Living, offering independent living, assisted living, and three levels of memory care, provides a continuum of care allowing residents to age in place gracefully. 

Discover our engaging social programs, all-day dining, on-site physical rehabilitation, and comprehensive health care options. 

If you are a solo ager contemplating a move to a supportive community, we invite you to contact us and RSVP for our upcoming event

Join our family and experience the warmth and care we offer.

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