Senescence is an inevitable process. After a productive and fruitful life, growing old, retiring from work, enjoying the leisure you always wished for, can be a very soothing experience. But unfortunately, sometimes anxiety takes over that.
When you are someone nearing that age, with no offspring or near relatives to call for in times of need, you often cannot help but wonder, what happens to elderly with no family or money!
Growing old is in itself a challenging experience. With the urbanization of our society, families have become smaller, relatives have dispersed, and many adults are choosing not to have children. Consequently, more and more elders are left alone after they retire.
How Does Life Change With Old Age?
It’s not a pleasant feeling to realise that you have grown old. The loss of youthfulness, the inability to fend for oneself, the deteriorating health, all strike hard emotionally.
At the age when people need the utmost comfort and care from their loved ones, feelings of insecurity and anxiety kick in.
But what happens to elderly with no family or money?
After living a busy life, people often end up alone in their old age. And a fixed income after retirement doesn’t suffice the daily requirements and the increased need for healthcare. They become despondent.
What Does The State Offer To The Senior Citizens?
According to the recent census, more than 60% of the senior population of the country live below the poverty line income. It is a shocking fact to know that the people who worked dedicatedly throughout their lives for the state are often left with no one to tend to them.
The government is constantly trying to come up with various policies and laws for the betterment in the living quality of the elder citizens.
Usually, when an elder person is left with no family or no financial support, they are declared to be a “ward of the state”. The government takes over the responsibility of their welfare.
They receive monthly monetary assistance as social security. A professional social service worker is assigned to them as their guardian, who would then be responsible for all the major decisions regarding their health care needs, finances, and even their accommodation.
In this article, we would try to understand where the government comes in to decide what happens to elderly with no family or money and what are the different alternatives for old-age living.
1. Conservatorship: What Does It Mean?
The Conservatorship, according to the law, is a concept of appointing a guardian or protector to a person with limited physical and mental capacity or a solo-ageing elderly, by the government itself.
The person under care is termed as the “conservatee” and the caregiver is usually called a legal guardian.
The person assigned the job is expected to oversee the living arrangements and the physical and medical requirements for the person under care. They are also designated with the task of managing their financial affairs and are responsible for their overall well-being.
2. Senior Co-housing: The Strength Of Communal Bond
Community plays an important role in people’s lives. The sense of belonging gives them hope and happiness.
Senior co-housing can be a great way for budgeted living along with the benefits of social connection. It is a type of living facility that accommodates private housing with a clustered living space. The residents share a common community area and can spend their days enjoying recreational activities in a joyful environment.
This is a good choice of lifestyle for active elders. But unfortunately, geriatric patients requiring 24/7 monitoring and nursing care will not be able to benefit from this program.
3. Senior House Sharing:
Solo-ageing adults with extra space in their home can enlist for house-sharing. There are many websites that help in finding a fellow elder willing to live in a shared household. It can be a very affordable way to live after retirement when income depends on meagre social security or retirement benefits.
Senior roommates have many benefits beyond just shared household expenses. They provide companionship, much-valued support, a sense of security, and even eliminate the fear of social isolation.
With shared expenses, co-living elder roommates can also apply for assisted-living or hire a caregiver.
Having a friend by your side in your ageing days can be of great comfort. You wouldn’t have to worry about what happens to elderly with no family or money as you would have your roommate to share your feelings with!
4. Independent Living Program:
Everybody prefers to stay in the security and comfort of your own home. But with growing age and limited income, maintaining a regular home can get very tough.
Independent Living Facility for elder people provides the feel of your own home without having to worry about any maintenance, bill payments, or yard work. This facility provides housing arrangements specifically designed for seniors. It is a community space, with solo-ageing adults living together in an apartment system.
For lower-income seniors, the state also provides subsidized housing complexes where they can live without depending on anyone. They also offer medical care facilities and community recreation for the residents.
5. Health Care For The Elderly:
Medical care can be an issue of great stress when you are not sure what happens to elderly with no family or money. The soaring cost of healthcare and drugs is not easy to deal with using the meagre pension fund and is more difficult without the help of family.
Seniors without enough funds are often forced into medical debts.
Many Government plans such as Medicare and Medicaid assist senior citizens with low incomes for paying for doctors, hospitals, caregivers, medicines as well as hospice care. The National Family Caregiver Support Program also is of much help. They provide grants to help support older adults and also provide informal caregiver facilities.
Live Life Carefree
The information we are trying to provide will help anyone nearing retirement to get prepared to combat the hardships and challenges of solo-ageing.
Ageing is a wonderful phenomenon when you don’t have anything to worry about. With a little planning beforehand, even solo-ageing can be a joy-filled time. Enjoy your leisure, make new friends, pursue your long-lost hobby, and appreciate the beauty of the life that lies ahead!