The Rise of the Elder Orphan


The elder orphan population is on the rise.

The elder orphan population is on the rise.

The yesteryear tragedy of the child orphan is now greatly affecting the senior population, as the “elder-orphan” population continues to expand.

A senior without a local support system can be considered an “orphan.” The tag of elderly orphan isn’t necessarily attached to economics; our culture of scattered families can leave seniors without a support system as cognitive and physical abilities decline.

According to published reports, nearly one-fourth of Americans over 65 are at risk of being without local assistance; the number will continue to grow as does the burgeoning Baby Boomer generation.

Researchers studying the growth of this demographic segment offered the example of “HB,” a 76-year-old who lives alone in Manhasset, N.Y. HB’s family lives in California, and his long-term pain, delirium, reduced ability to make decisions and lack of social support led to a failed suicide attempt. He was discharged to a nursing facility for care because he needed help and had no family to assist him.

With an increase of no-children families, elders can also be left alone to fend for their future. Although a senior may have been able to establish community connection, and remain active outside the home, a broken hip for example could shake that foundation if they are no longer ambulatory.

A series of papers published by the Public Policy and Aging Report said that communities designed for seniors to live independently, while maintaining safety, maintaining an active social life and having access to advocates for services, if not the services themselves, would help seniors to achieve a higher quality of life.

Affordable Medical Resource care givers can be an economical option for families who are not in geographic proximity of each other. From skilled nursing to social-focus caregivers, visits can be arranged from a few hours and days a week, to 24-hour skilled nursing care.

About one-third of Americans aged 45 to 63 are single, almost 20 percent of women aged 40 to 44 have no children, and 22 percent of people over age 65 are at risk of becoming elder orphans. These groups are all at risk of being caught in situations where loss of physical or mental functions can put their lives in danger.

Non-native speakers may be in an even more difficult predicament. “We can provide multi-lingual services,” said Affordable Medical’s Pramod Mathur. Among languages, Mathur said that Hindi, Korean, Russian, along with Spanish are available. Affordable Medical’s in-house team is fluent in Hindi, Spanish and English.


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