F Simple and Serene Living: support system for the aging woman 09 10
Monday, August 25, 2014

support system for the aging woman


Women Speak

Each Tuesday here at I'm So Vintage we have a weekly forum with topics of interest for women. This forum is for and about all of us. A couple of weeks ago one of my dear readers contacted me with her story. She said she is an aging woman who has never been married. She is concerned about who her support system will be as she gets older. 


One of the biggest concerns for all aging women is who will take care of us when we get older. For some there is a spouse, adult children, and/or siblings, but some women do not have any family members to rely on. Where do we turn if we are in this situation?


Even though I am only 63 and have daughters and siblings I am thinking of how I will take care of myself. Because I have limited financial means I know that I need to find a place to live where I won't be a burden on my family. I also want it to be a place where I will feel safe and be able to interact with other people on a regular basis. That is why I am already looking into independent senior living apartments for those who are 62 and older. I am planning to put my name on the waiting list for some apartments in the Atlanta area next year. My goal is to move there once I turn 65 in December of 2015. 


None of us know what will happen in the future. My situation may completely change, but I want to be prepared. I know that I need to get back into my own place. I miss my things. I miss having my own space. I miss my independence. I miss living near my grandchildren and my daughters. I also know that I don't want to intrude on their lives or be a burden to them. I plan on working at my business for a long time to come and hopefully it will begin to support me better in the future.


Each of us have different situations with different needs, but I know that we all want to know that we are taken care of. Most areas of the country have women's centers and senior support services. There are job services for people over the age of 50. Getting involved in a church, with meetup groups, or taking a part time job are all ways to meet new people and find support services. There are even dating services for people over 50 if you are looking for a new partner. 


I'm sure that you all have ideas that you can share, so grab a cup of tea or coffee and let's chat.



21 comments:

  1. laura, Two of my sisters have their names on such listings for apartments for seniors. It nice that it is not a bunch of kids running around there. Those people seem to look out for one another too. My goal upon retiring was to have everything paid off and owe no one. Because once your retire you have to live on less. Health is my number one concern. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you and your sisters are each planning in your own way, Susie. Health is a major concern for me as well and is one of the reasons that I am waiting until I turn 65 to move to Georgia. We have a better health care system here in Kentucky.

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  2. I will live here for awhile, but I'd really like to live elsewhere. At that point, a 55+ community probably. I have limited funds as well.
    Brenda

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    1. We have talked about this a lot Brenda and we both know that it is difficult when there are limited funds. There are resources for us as we age and that is a real comfort.

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  3. Laura, this is an interesting topic and honestly, I never thought about living anywhere but here. I guess if I live long enough to have physical disabilities, I would have to move to a place where I wouldn't have to do the upkeep. That's as far as I've ever thought. I mostly worry about how I will sell our properties, and the tangled web of financial information. I am trying to work on getting our income and benefits documented and a will drawn up. I read about a woman who lost her husband suddenly and didn't even know what sort of health benefits they had. She is now an advocate of all women getting all that info together...bank accounts numbers, social security benefits and all sources of income. These forms can be found online. I may be at the opposite end of the spectrum than some, but it's a lot of worries as I approach my sixties.

    Thanks for having such a great forum. I hope a lot of women participate.

    Jane xx

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    1. I am glad that you are starting to plan, Jane. No matter what our financial situation is we need to make arrangements. Too many women have left everything up to their husbands and are left completely confused upon their deaths.

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  4. Laura, a very compelling, and timely post, and thoughts...even being married, with children doesn't guarantee you security in your older years. And when I look at the time, [well spent in my eyes] that we are sharing with my parents right now, I know that when I age, being married isn't going to be the answer either. We need to prepare now, not later, it will eventually happen to almost all of us that we will age.

    It's better to go into that unknown future well prepared, with advance planning for any situation, including those that we don't think will happen to us. My parents thought they had prepared for their aging...but things change so fast in life, and it doesn't always turn out like you think it will.

    I'm not advocating being worried, and scared, just planning for any eventuality, and learning to go with what ever the future holds.

    I am reading Blondies, [Jane's] comment above...it's so pertinent. I can't stress enough make sure that you have a will, and if you have Power of Attorney [that might just be in Canada] make sure to get one while you are still competent of mind, if something happens it's too late, and those are easy documents to have made up that are going to make your life so much easier should you need them.

    Have knowledge of your financial affairs, married or not...don't depend on someone else to look after everything for you. Be aware of what you have, and what you owe...at any age, and any marital status. There are still women who leave everything up to their husbands...and that isn't the way anyone should live anymore.

    Jen

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    1. We had a friend whose husband died and they had everything so organized (even had funeral planned and paid for) it was very easy for her and her children to take care of everything. She had notes concerning everything you need to plan. Eleven months later, she died unexpectedly and again it was easy for her children to take care of matters. One of the ladies in our church asked me to take her notes (which the children gave me) and plan a seminar for other women to advise them what they (we) need to do to prepare for the future. You have given me a push to get started working on this soon

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    2. You are so right in saying that we need to start planning now, Jen. Planning will take away much of the worry. My mom and I took care of most of this for her this past spring. We should have done it much sooner. I didn't realize how much of her money she has run through and that if she continues to live where she is she will probably outlive her assets. She is now on the waiting list for a senior apartment that will cost her much less. It is also a place where if is becomes necessary she can transition into assisted living or nursing home care. IT has taken away the worry for both of us. I now need to start planning more for myself.

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    3. Thanks so much, Quilty Nana for your input. I hope you will get started on that seminar. It is so important for women to have the information they need to make decisions for themselves. We have already prepaid my mom's funeral and burial expenses and met with the lawyer and her banker to give me the power to make sure her needs and wants are carried out.

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  5. I recently lost my husband of thirty years and am currently moving into a condo I purchased. I handled the finances and most of the medical info so that is not a problem for me. I did look into Senior housing before purchasing my condo but the problem is, most are very small and one bedroom. I may be considered a senior but I still have hobbies and over night guest so one bedroom won't do. I make about $1000 a year too much to get in the housing that is based on income and the other Senior housing is way out of my budget. Living in Florida there are numerous senior mobile parks. I live in one now. These are not my cup of tea. They are like going back to high school with clicks and gossip, etc. Also the park fees go up much more than my Social Security and Retirement income each year. So the condo with no maintenance and neighborhood feel work for me. I have told my children I do not want them to change their life for me; guess I am too independent. I get lonely at times but thanks to technology I can always find someone to chat with and/or learn a new thing. I am not ready for bingo, cards and bus trips to Vegas yet. I still want to explore, learn and go to the beach now that I have the time to do those things. I am 64 and do not feel like a senior yet so for awhile I will live with the neighbors kids making a little noise and go to the beach and bask in the sun.

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    1. I'm sorry for the loss of your husband. It sounds like you are financially secure and knew where you stood when he passed away. I think the most important thing for all of us is knowing what our options are. I would love to have a second bedroom, but know at this point it is not an option for me. I just want to remain independent an enjoy my family. I guess that means sleeping bags on the floor for overnight visits 😊

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    2. Well I wouldn't call myself financially secure. The purchase of the condo wiped out savings and now must live on my limited income and food stamps. But having a quilt room was important to me so I guess it is all relevant. Thanks for the reply.

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  6. I'm part of that generation where I'm retired but still taking care of an aging parent and I have young grands! It's hard but with planning and prayer it can be done. I have a small income but I'm debt free and that helps. Right now I live in a duplex where my maintenance and yard is taken care of. This is important to me since those are two things I'm not good at and can hit the budget hard. Lucky for me my Mom is financially ok and is now in Independent Living where she is safe (she is almost 84 and this is important to me). My biggest concern is health care and I'm counting the months until I turn 65. Laura, you are right that GA has little support for the uninsured. I live near one of my children and that is a great support to me as I am to them. I feel like i'm getting my life as organized and planning for my future as much as I can. I love this forum where we can support each other!
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. It was a big thing for you to get your mom into independent living, Linda. I know my mom is safe, too, but she will have to move when an apartment comes available for her. Health care is such a major concern for all of us, and as we age we have more problems. I know you can't wait until you have medicare. I will be happy when I am closer to my daughters., too. Thanks for being here, my sweet friend.

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  7. Although I am not yet of an age where I need to worry about this, I do think about it because I have no children and my husband is a fair bit older than me, so what will I do when he is older/dies and I am alone. Like you I have plans that I will look into a retirement complex where there are other people and activities going on as that means that like you I will remain independent and myself, but still have company and others around too. I hope that your plans all work out for the best for you! xx

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  8. I am truly hoping to live here for the rest of my life now that we are getting settled. So happy here!

    Cindy

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    1. That is wonderful, Cindy. I hope you are able to live there forever, too.

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  9. I have thought about this too. I am fortunate to have a loving husband but have no children and no siblings. If I were alone, I would be truly alone with no family to even visit me. So I have decided that if and when that day comes I hope I am living in a little cottage in a small town and that I will do nothing to extend my life a day longer than what God grants.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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    1. I hope you know that there are plenty of people who love you, my friend, and who would love to spend time with you. I thought I would be living in a little cottage in a small town, too, but there seems to be other plans for me. Hugs!!

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