According to the United States Census Bureau, some 27 percent of Americans 65 and older are living alone. That number of seniors is growing at a rate of about 10,000 every single day.

Baby Boomers, born from around 1946 to 1964, now number over 70 million. They tend to live alone more often. This huge population has experienced higher divorce rates and lower number of children than any other generation, leaving many Boomers venturing out on their own in their later years.

Aging Alone

While living alone is not a bad thing, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind to help ensure positive aging in place. Seniors who choose to live by themselves need to plan for taking care of their own needs.

Without a good plan for what is being called “Solo Living,” single seniors may experience some real challenges ahead. Living on one’s own can be a contributing factor in causing poor health or feelings of isolation or loneliness – all of which are associated with higher risks of depression, cognitive disorders, and even mortality.

Moving forward, they should define how they want to live relative to their housing, finances, healthcare, transportation, mobility, emergency assistance, social interaction, and staying active. In other words, seniors living by themselves need to plan their lifestyle.

A Solo Living Plan should detail what things are necessary for an individual to be comfortable and which ones can be lived without. This gives older people confident life strategies that will serve them well for healthier, happier years ahead.

Feeling cut off from the world around you can be devastating. Especially after the loss of a spouse or going into retirement alone, it’s important for seniors to engage in activities to occupy their days and stimulate their minds. It’s essential for them to interact with others on a regular basis, such as taking classes to learn a new skill, joining a club, volunteering or, in some other way, getting out and about.

Some seniors combat these issues by seeking out senior communities or assisted living facilities that provide the comfort and support they need all in one place. There are many resources available to help those desiring the freedom of living alone without doing it alone.

Organizations such as Senior Concerns at www.seniorconcerns.org and others can give you guidance. Also, ask your financial and estate advisors for direction and options that may be available to you.

You don’t have to go it alone, if you plan well. If you have questions, contact Terri Hilliard PC at 805-201-2552 or e-mail clientcare@terrihilliard.com. You can also sign up for our newsletter.