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Message 1 of 23

@SedonaS812353 That's great that you are getting involved in volunteering! It's a great way to meet like-minded people and to feel your sense of purpose in life. I'm guessing, too, that people at church wouldn't care what you are wearing to go there - the key thing is the community you build.

 

Since you were a hospice nurse, would you be interested in being a hospice volunteer? Just to visit with people?

 

In some communities there are volunteer banks, or "village" programs where people volunteer doing the things they can do, and others volunteer to help you with things you can't do so easily. So for example, you might help someone write letters who has a difficult time writing. That gets you hours in the "bank", and someone else might volunteer to help you with some chores around the house. 

 

You can ck to see if there is a "village" program on the Village 2 Village website directory - just put in your zip code and see if there is a program near you. 

 

Take care, 

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

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Message 2 of 23

@GatorRx77 This is so wonderful to hear! There are many really good people out there and I'm so glad you found two of them who have taken you into their families and are there for you when you need them. Sometimes families by choice are just as good if not better than biological families! 

 

Thank you for sharing this story - it gives me hope that there are still great people out there who care! 

 

Take care,

Amy

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Message 3 of 23
I am 63 and have some of the same difficulties you are having. I no longer have a car and live in a large city on the opposite side of the United States as you do. I used public transportation all the time until about 2013. I had ACCESS (the California Version of Paratransit) but did not have the money to use it often. Since then when I need to I use it more but I still take the bus often. I live in an apartment building that was not an assisted living when I moved in but they added a Living Waiver Program because a lot of the people that came here were coming directly from a hopsital, so between the apartment building and the Waiver Program they offer different groups you can go to so you can stay somewhat social. The Waiver also has a van that the clients can go on (use to be 2 times a week but now we are down to 1 time a week because one of the drivers had a medical situation that the are down a driver now). Because I was a fall risk because the medication I was on in 2016 caused my legs to cramp and go out from under me, I was given a walker and put on the Waiver Program put also referred to In Home Supportive Services. They will take me to my appointments, the store, and to run errands. They also do some personal assistance (bathing,dressing, etc. which I do not need) and some housekeeping. I am in the process of hiring someone now. Do you have a senior center near you? When I lived in Long Beach, CA, we had a nice one that had an exercise room, it had a doctor from a local hospital that came there for only the seniors, they had a puzzle room, they had music/talent show on Friday. Anyone could get up and perform their talent. There was a man that was a singer when he worked and so he would sing regularly, there was a few people that would tap dance on stage, there was a man who had a masters degree in music and he could play the piano and if someone had requests, he would play. They had a little cafe there where you could get some snacks and even a thrift store there on site. There would be flyers on various topics of groups. I remember they even had trips once in a while. They even had exercise groups like yoga in addition to the exercise room. They would have one day where they had food give a ways and you could go there for lunch if you were 65 for a small fee. You may want to check and see if you have something like that that you may be able to go to on the days you feel you can. Sometimes some of the men and women would get up and dance together when someone was playing the piano or another type of music was on. There was also a social group that met at the facility on scheduled days. I know you said you COPD but have you thought about teaching people/youngsters how to read. One of my girlfriends from junior high and high school, her mother volunteered at the local library and helped people learn to read or read better. She loved it. If you are good at any other subjects you could volunteer your time tutoring on that subject. There is also groups that are made up of older adults that are foster grandparents. They are somehow teamed up with a family that has a child/children that does not have a grand-parent or does not live near one and they fill that void. AARP has volunteer opportunities also. I use to belong to a church that had a active senior group so if you find a church, they may have the same thing there. You also mentioned that you use Lyft at times. One thing you may want to check into is with your medical insurance. Through my medicaid I can call them up if I have a doctor appointment and set up transportation to and from my medical appointment. Sometimes my appointments are near but sometimes they would be a 2 hour ride on the bus or cost too much for me to pay for it if I have very many appointments that month which has happened so I call them and they set it up. Funny thing is although they have some medical transportation companies they use, but what they use most often is Lyft but they pay through your insurnace, not you. If you need assistance getting in and out of the vehicle or have a walker or wheel chair (foldable) they can help with that also. Usually these people only do medical because it is more dependable than just accepting regular Lyft rides. They make more money doing the medical transportation and they treat you good. I prefer to use them to take me to my appointments most of the time. If I get an IHSS worker and they will not be available for my appointment I have a back up resource. Do you have a Meal On Wheels there where you are? Here they are the same meals you would receive at the senior center but it comes to your home. I too have one sister left and we do not have a regular social relationship. My dad died over 35 years ago and my mother 7 years ago, my middle sister passed away 2 years ago and my brother last year. I never had children and went through a divorce almost 30 years ago and never re-married. I have several neices and nephews but they all live in other states except a for couple but they are over 25 miles away. We do not socialize except for on social media. One more thing. I see you do not think you can go a block to get the bus because you get winded and there is no place to sit. Have you thought about getting a rolling walker to take with you so if there is no place to sit, you can sit on the walker if you get winded or if you have to wait for Lyft to pick you up from your appointments. Usually they are there right away but sometimes with them but expecially the paratransit, I have had to wait a while because they were late for some reason. It is okay if there is somewhere to sit but if not, I like having my walker because then I have a place to sit and it is mobile so you can sit in the shade if you need to. You know we are baby boomers and I cannot tell you how many seniors (especially senior women I see wearing jeans or knit pants which can be pull ups) so you should not worry about how you are dressed. My own mother you could not get her out of her housedresses and into pants until after my brother and sister-in-law gave her her first pant suit. Once we got her into pants, we could not get her out of them. She never worried about having to wear a dress again. She even worked at the local rehabilitation center in the pharmacy for years and she was able to wear business casual dress there (pull on pants with a nice top) never a dress. Also a lot of the churches, if they have a group that thinks that at the early services women need to wear dresses and men suits, they usually have at least one service in the evening, that is more casual. Most of the people that go to that service are the people that come from work to church or the younger college age students and they are more likely to be in pants than a dress or suit. I am sorry if this was a bit much but I hope it helps you figure out what you can/need to do.
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Message 4 of 23

@SueH788485 wrote:

I am female 75 and really need some friends to chat with or spend time with.  Would love to be part of a family as i miss the kids.  Cared for children all my life now am told i am to old to do this.  

 


Hi Sue,

There are ways to become a part of a family, to help children, as a volunteer, as a member of a worship community as a member of the team that cares for kids or sunday school teacher... So you don't have kids of your own and you've been told that you're 'too old' (harrumph!!) to continue to provide daycare or teach. So you're receiving social security and a pension? What would you like to do now? Who is your community now? Please tell us more. And, i hope the holidays are a time of rest and joy. Remember, movies are open on Christmas Day!

 

Write us more?

Jane

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Message 5 of 23

I am female 75 and really need some friends to chat with or spend time with.  Would love to be part of a family as i miss the kids.  Cared for children all my life now am told i am to old to do this.  

 

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Message 6 of 23


@SedonaS812353 wrote:

I thought I was the only one oon the planet   in this same situation. 62 y.o. never married no children.  I dedicated my life to my work as a traveling hospice nurse- now I need help and there is little to be found----   I have been in the same home over 42 years, climbing a ladder and doing repairs on my own are now  not an option, alll the original neighbors i grew up with are all gone; now all the neighbors are very young,  just starting a family and out of 10 houses only one bothers to say hello when they see me ; they are all invovled in their work or very young family.  I t  is all most depressing--- all i have found is the great group called the Humanists of America each state has their own branch --- they are non political and non religious  u just came as u are and they do volunteer stuff for the community-- i cant do physical stuff but i can write letters, contact theh local newspaper when events happen and make phone calls---other than that it is try to get involved in a local church  which for me getting all dressed up is also a burden  as i live in pull on clothes---------------in a very weird way it is nice to know i am not all alone out there---but it doesn;t solve the lack of stimulation or human contact problem------Curious to see what u find out there  All I can Say is keep reaching out and trying   evne though i know how very hard and depressisng it is to be all alone. Much good luck, peace and Blessings signed a very tired traveling nurse in Florida



And here i thought you lived in Sedona Arizona!

Are you still working as a hospice nurse? And you're in the same house all this time? We have traveling nurses come through my small town frequently but they're just passing through... In any case, you do not have to live as a hermit, right? You can 'come as you are' in pull on pants to  a Unitarian Church or even an Episcopal one. You can volunteer at a food pantry. You can get out there a bit more. And what about nieces or nephews? What about buying into a continuing care community and joining the social occasions that they offer? You're young yet. You have some health issues, but you have lots of life left in you, right?

 

You are not the only 'elder orphan' for sure. And all of the orphans have options...

 

Write more?

 

Jane

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Message 7 of 23

I thought I was the only one oon the planet   in this same situation. 62 y.o. never married no children.  I dedicated my life to my work as a traveling hospice nurse- now I need help and there is little to be found----   I have been in the same home over 42 years, climbing a ladder and doing repairs on my own are now  not an option, alll the original neighbors i grew up with are all gone; now all the neighbors are very young,  just starting a family and out of 10 houses only one bothers to say hello when they see me ; they are all invovled in their work or very young family.  I t  is all most depressing--- all i have found is the great group called the Humanists of America each state has their own branch --- they are non political and non religious  u just came as u are and they do volunteer stuff for the community-- i cant do physical stuff but i can write letters, contact theh local newspaper when events happen and make phone calls---other than that it is try to get involved in a local church  which for me getting all dressed up is also a burden  as i live in pull on clothes---------------in a very weird way it is nice to know i am not all alone out there---but it doesn;t solve the lack of stimulation or human contact problem------Curious to see what u find out there  All I can Say is keep reaching out and trying   evne though i know how very hard and depressisng it is to be all alone. Much good luck, peace and Blessings signed a very tired traveling nurse in Florida

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Message 8 of 23

@CandisM936612 I think it's great that you are thinking ahead about this. Hopefully you have many many years ahead before you'll need assistance, but eventually you may need some support - help doing yardwork, housework, climbing up on ladders, etc. You may also need help with personal care some day, and transportation when you stop driving. So it's a great idea to think about how you'll manage that. 

 

You might start by looking into what services are offered that would be available to you where you currently live. You can contact the Area Agency on Aging in your area (go to the Eldercare Locator at www.eldercare.acl.gov and put in your zip code and then you'll get a listing that includes your local area agency on aging. Check out their website, call and ask what services are offered to people in their homes where you live - tell them you are planning for the future. As about home health aids, chore services, transportation services, housekeeping, etc. etc. You can also ask about the costs - how much it costs to pay someone for various tasks you may need some day. That will help you budget. Ask, also, what is offered in town - so you get a feeling for the differences - and what your options are. Also look at the cost of housing in town. You might meet with a financial planner also. Also look at your current house and how livable it is as you age. Is there a first floor bedroom and bathroom? Could one be created? Where is the laundry located? Are there stairs? What is involved in entering the home? Can it be made safe? 

 

That will give you an idea of what your life would be like if you stay there, vs. if you move. Also look at quality of life, socialization (very important for your health and well-being), activities etc. 

 

I'd love to hear what you learn! 

 

The  section on the AARP website has lots of information about "livable" communities and what to look for as you age!  

 

Also this is the AARP HomeFit Guide with suggestions of ways to adapt your home as you age.

 

Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving and

Color Your Way Content When Caring for Loved Ones

 

 

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Message 9 of 23

Hello,

This is my first post here. I am 57, suffer from Fibromyalgia and migraines that are both progressing as I age. I have never been married, nor do I have any children, therefore, I shall be aging alone. I also live 8 miles outside of town in a small town with not much to offer those of us that are aging alone. I DO love where I live and am paying off my home as well. I am hoping to have it paid off by the time I retire or soon after. But reading some other posts, am wondering if I should not start looking at selling my home either now or when I retire and move into town where I would be closer to services I may eventually be in need of or stay where I love living. Any advice out there would be greatly appreciated. I also have very few friends that I could call on to assist me if something should happen to me. I do have a sister that lives close by, but she has a life of her own.

Candis

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Message 10 of 23

@philb908321 wrote:
im still waiting for my angel, but im afraid shes not comming ....i wait n grieve

Good morning, Phil. At least its morning for me on the west coast. I saw this post, and i went to your list of posts to see if i could find out more about you. Please don't get your hopes up, i'm not looking for a companion, but i do 'hear' your desire for a friend, companion, person to be with, help out, travel with, or whatever. And i also hear your frustration that folks on this aarp community site are not responding super fast. 

I'm about your age, will be 59 in August. I moved to a radically different part of the country 2 years ago to be with a new partner, and since i did that, i've learned a few things about making friends. I'm wondering if any of my experiences might be helpful to you as you look for companionship: locally and not on a national board like the aarp community. Also, could you tell us more about where you are? or does that matter? It sounds like you're willing to move.

     You are a veteran, a young one, so maybe a gulf war vet, or something, and you are disable so you get a veteran's pension and maybe social security as well. It's great that you have an income; i bet it is also a modest one. Sounds like you can do most everything, very handy guy! despite your disability, so that's awesome.  Since you're a veteran, is there a social group near you that gathers? Is there a VFW (or is that mostly much older guys and the occasional guy?)   Perhaps you've tried to engage with other veterans at your local VA Hospital, or other veterans organizations. Any luck?

         I am a therapist in a very rural county and i have seen several veterans, still see two. Most have PTSD. And we are 2 hours from the nearest VA so they get to see me through the Triwest Choice program. One of the things they bring up a lot is feeling lonely. No matter what kind of veteran you are, what you did or where you went, there's a feeling that no one outside of the military has a clue about your experience. Their disabilities tend to be psychological and some physical as well. We work on strategies for calming themselves when a panic attack happens. My psychiatric colleague gives them prozasin and antidepressants to help with nightmares. And then they go out from my office to engage with the world again, and try to escape it most of the time. This place is so rural they succeed.

       When i moved out here, i joined the volunteer organization that helps raise funds for the school, for flags on the tombstones in the town cemetary, and for spraying of mosquitos. We even have a Mosquito Festival to help pay for it. Is there any organization that you'd like to volunteer for? Is there a local library? Is there a skill you could teach young people, like welding or carpentry?  If you could hook into something voluntarily, you'll make acquaintances, feel useful, and perhaps get into a social circle that will eventually lead to connection, companionship, etc.

       That's one thought.

        I see that one of your posts expressed frustration with this process, and the community, and you called the enterprise a 'pos'.  I wish it was easier to make friends, find companions. The thing is, people can smell desperation. Which is why joining a social group or volunteering, might help you to link up with people WITHOUT the pressure of desperation. Does that make sense?  It's kind of like trying to be happy. Its a  hard goal to head for straight away. But if we are useful, and socialable, and helpful, dependable, trustworthy, find joy in a hobby... happiness will sneak up on you.

      If you feel isolated, connecting with other folks near where you are now may be both enjoyable and more effective at finding the companionship you seek....

      So, i responded. Tell us more about you? Does anything i suggested make sense?

      I sincerely wish you all the best, Phil. And please respond. 

 

Jane

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