Sunday, September 14, 2014

Who Will Be There For Me When I Am Older?

Many single bereaved parents who have lost their only child and have no surviving relatives often wonder who will take care of them when they are older and/or in need of help. They are frightened as they look into the future.

This is a legitimate concern. It has come up at many bereavement conference sharing sessions from those who don’t know who they can turn to?

One suggestion is that good friends can be very helpful. Perhaps you need someone to pick up a few things at the grocery store. You can thank them by inviting them over for lunch or dinner. Or you may want a companion to go out with you to a movie, play or just shopping for some new clothes. Don’t be afraid to ask a good friend if they would like to join you.

If you can’t drive anymore for whatever reason, there are many organizations that will provide free vans to take you where you want or need to go. I know someone who worked for such an organization and became good friends with the surviving parent he helped. Look into social services that are available in your state or city where you live.

Buying long-term care insurance, if you haven't already, is a good idea. When you need it, a qualified professional can come over for a few hours a day, a half-day, or even longer to help you out if your health doesn’t allow you to do all you need done. I can’t imagine what my neighbor around the corner, who has Parkinson’s, would have done without this wonderful companion who helps her now not only get a lot stronger, more confident, and walking again, but also was a wonderful sounding board for listening to stories about the daughter she lost a few years before she got ill.

Many think Hospice is only for those who are dying, but hospice has come a long way since its founding. Its goal now is to pursue quality living with compassionate, quality patient care, so that if someone has special needs, it is available. Whether it is help with paying household and other bills, cleaning the home or seeing that correct medicines are being taken at certain times, Hospice is there to help or to find someone who can. If you find you can’t take a shower by yourself anymore, want a hair cut at home, or want groceries delivered, that can also be arranged.

These are only a few suggestions. Many wonderful people are out there to help and be friends with as you grow older. Getting involved in organizations now, widening your network of people you meet and becoming friends with some of them will help you a lot as you grow older and realize that you are not alone. There are people out there who care.

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