Embracing Solo Aging: Aging Alone with Dignity and Strength

By Roz Jones

The world has changed drastically over the past few decades. People are living longer, and many older adults are choosing to age alone instead of in long-term care facilities. This is known as “solo aging”, and it presents both challenges and opportunities for older adults who choose this path. It’s important to understand what solo aging can mean for those who choose it, so that they can adequately prepare for the future. 

The Benefits of Solo Aging 

Solo aging can present a number of benefits for those who take this path. For starters, solo aging gives individuals the freedom to live their lives as they please, without having to rely on others or feel like a burden. Additionally, people who age alone often have more control over their schedules and daily activities than those who live in group settings such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Finally, solo aging allows individuals to maintain their independence and autonomy while still getting the necessary help they need. 

Challenges of Solo Aging 

Of course, there are also some challenges associated with solo aging that must be taken into account. For one thing, solo agers may not have access to the same type of social support that comes with living in a community setting or with family members nearby. Additionally, managing medical needs and appointments can be difficult without help from others or access to transportation services. Finally, solo agers may not always be able to get the same level of care that they would if they were living in a long-term care facility where trained caregivers are available 24/7. 

Preparing for Solo Aging 

For those considering solo aging, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure all your bases are covered before taking this step. Make sure you have an adequate support network in place—family members or friends who can provide assistance when needed—and look into organizations or services that can provide additional support such as Meals on Wheels programs or transportation services. Additionally, consider signing up for home health care services if needed so you can get the medical attention you require from the comfort of your own home.          Solo aging is an increasingly popular option among older adults today due to its many benefits—including increased freedom and autonomy—as well as its potential challenges—such as lack of access to social support networks or transportation services. However, by planning ahead and making sure all your bases are covered before taking this step, solo agers can ensure that they will be able to age with dignity and strength while still getting the assistance they need when they need it most. With proper preparation and forethought, anyone looking at solo aging can approach it with confidence knowing that they will be well taken care of along the way!

Do you need caregiving assistance and services in your state? Checkout AARP’s Family Caregiver Resource Guides created to help family caregivers access key programs, services, and agencies within their loved one’s community. Click or tap on a state to find tools and support for everything from health, legal and financial assistance to respite care!

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Are you trying to decide if you can provide care to your aging loved one and continue working your 9-5 job? Check out my latest podcast to learn how this is possible and why you should be transparent with your employer about your role as a caregiver!

You have your job — the one with a paycheck. And then you have your caregiving responsibilities — helping someone who means the world to you.

Work can be rewarding in more ways than one. So can caregiving. But together, it’s a demanding combination. You may feel like you’ve got more on your plate than you can handle on some days.

So how do you navigate caregiving and juggling your job? In this episode, I share how this is possible and why you should be transparent with your employer about your caregiver role.


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