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Re: Becoming an Elder Orphan

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Message 11 of 14

@citygal226,  I changed the "and" to "an" for you.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

 

Sandy

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Re: Becoming an Elder Orphan

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Message 12 of 14

Oh how I hate it when I make that typo between "an" and "and"!!!

 

Yes, I did get approved for paratransit and looking forward to using it soon. It's cheaper than a Lyft ride to/from the doctor's office. I'll be getting my first Freshly delivery this coming Fri. My fellow senior friend has been very pleased with the meals, quality, and variety.

 

My sibling/sister and I were NEVER close, so I won't miss having her in my life. She is toxic. We've had problems before over the years. She is just someone I never liked, and never felt love for. Probably very strange for most people to understand. But it happens. No, I don't think a counselor/mediator would help at all. I think we will ONLY ever interact if we absolutely have to, to help our mother. Otherwise, I don't even want to be in the same room with her, and I have informed my mother of that.

 

As for volunteering - Until 2014, I was a big-time volunteer! In Chicago until I moved to Las Vegas in 2011, then in LV until my health started to decline and transportation became an issue. Now that I've moved back, I'm in the South burbs with no nearbyopportunities and I don't have the energy/stamina. I really miss the face-to-face interaction with people that I had as a "public contact" volunteer. I have considered virtual opportunities that I've seen on VolunteerMatch.com but just haven'tfollowed up.

 

American "Lunch" Association? That was HILARIOUS! Guess I'm not the only one who makes unintentional typos! Yes, I have signed up at the Am. LUNG Assoc. but forgot about them. I never get any email from them so I'm not sure it's an active group. But I'll visit them again soon. I've joined a few other COPD online support groups, too. It helps a lot to know there are Kindred Spirits out there.

 

Still, there's this other large issue of being an Elder (Female) Orphan. What are WE supposed to do???

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Re: Becoming an Elder Orphan

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Message 13 of 14

@citygal226 My heart goes out to you! Isolation can be very damaging to our health and wellbeing. It sounds like you are very resourceful and have done some GREAT things as an advocate for yourself - applying for paratransit (hope that works out that will help a lot I'm sure!), using online resources for grocery delivery, and Freshly for meals - fantastic! 

 

I'm sorry to hear about your sibling, as I'm sure she was an important contact with you. Is there any chance you two could talk and set aside differences going forward? Family is just so important as life moves on. Maybe a counselor or family mediator could help? 

 

Have you thought about any of these options?

  • Volunteering - you might contact your local volunteer center, community center, Boys and Girls Clubs, homeless shelter, area agency on aging or senior center and ask about volunteer opportunities. If getting out and around is hard for you, there may be volunteer roles you can play from home - on the phone as a friendly check-in either with older adults or children. Some areas have after school programs where volunteers talk on the phone with the children and even help them with homework. AARP has volunteering information - click HERE.
  • Support groups can be a great way to connect with other people who are having similar challenges - it's socialization but helpful also! Many times people make great friends through their support groups. The American Lunch Association has Better Breathers Clubs for those with COPD. You can find an online support community HERE. And there are also in person support groups - look HERE.

So glad you posted her in the AARP online community - let us know how you are doing and how else we can help! 

 

 

Take care,
Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert
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Becoming an Elder Orphan

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Message 14 of 14

At 62 years old, I'm already becoming an Elder Orphan. Never married, no children, no close or close-by relatives to help me. I try to stay in contact with my cousins who are my age or a few years younger or older, but they have health or family problems of their own. My best friends don't live near me either and most of them either still work full-time or have elderly parents to care for. I have COPD so I don't get around much or well due to getting easily winded. I don't drive/have a car. The closest bus stop is a block away and I don't think I could make it. And there's nowhere to sit if I could get there.I've applied for Paratransit and waiting for their decision. I think that'll help with mobility/transportation. I use Lyft to get to and from doctor appointments, and to visit my mother (20 minutes away). I have my groceries and most household products delivered by Peapod, Walgreen's, Target, etc. I signed up for Freshly to start having prepared meals delivered every week or so. I just feel so isolated and helpless, and I don't like it. I have a sibling who lives about 20 minutes away with a car. But she works full time. And we had a big falling out 2 months ago that has permanently obliterated the relationship. Best I can think of to do in the near term is stay in touch with friends.

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