I'm 61, healthy, still work, happy. The problem is I'm single (no children) and have no relatives (only one cousin I know of who has severe mental health issues). I'm not rich. I'm concerned about what will happen to me if I do get sick (I was a caregiver for my mother when she died). I asked one friend (the only one I have who's very reliable) but she currently has too much on her plate (another issue is, many of my good friends live in other cities).

How do I make sure I'm safe? I'm worried about some of the companies I see that will provide that help for fee (read about scams, placing people in facilities against their will, etc).

One friend (she's a very casual friend) mentioned a few years ago she was starting a "collective"--a group of girlfriends who would be there for each other as they age. I like that idea but most of my friends have family/children so this is not a concern for them.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I live in NYC.

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I library patron once told me she had the same worries that you do. She went to a community that started with independent living that had a series of levels of care provided. It was in Oregon - and another friend signed up for one in Florida. I am not sure about the buy in or cost of these places.
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I would start with an elder care attorney and get a handle on the laws in your area.
here where we live, in Nevada, the courts will appoint someone when no one else comes forward and the courts would not grant guardianship to anyone claiming to be a professional caregiver or guardian. There was a lot of trouble with them a few years ago.
You might be able to list the attorney as a contact for the emergency you are referring to and the attorney could then go to court and inform the judge you need help. Or maybe I am being foolish on that suggestion.
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When you hire a company make sure they are considered a fudiciary, (licensing will help as well as asking straight out) this will help ensure that your wishes are carried out. My health care and durable general poa both addresses when I would be placed in a facility. Check out Trust companies in your area, use one that has a set fee, ie 1 to 1.5% of estate. This will help with not being nickel and dimed to bankruptcy.

Do not get sold on fear, we just saw a huge company that wanted to charge us 5k for a 450.00 job, fear is the sales pitch.

Do your research, follow up with referrals and go to some free seminars, if offered in your area, typically financial planning is where this is covered.

Find a facility where you would be willing to be placed, if needed, and name it in your wishes. The biggest factors are having things in writing, get it notarized to ensure legality is not questioned and make sure to give copies to anyone involved or named as well as accessible in case of emergency, ie your PCP.

My husband and I have children and family however we do not want to burden them with our care if we are unable to care for one another or ourselves.

Best of luck finding a company that will make sure your wishes are what you get and in the long run that's all any of us really want.
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nerdwoman55 Oct 2018
Thank you. This was incredibly helpful. And makes a lot of sense.
You should probably talk to an elder lawyer. POA is a big responsibility and shouldn't fall on friends of the same age bracket. If their health should fail, they can't carry out your wishes. There must be options out there for people in your position.
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I don't really have a solution but I will say I am in the same situation. I am a single no children caregiver for my 2 parents, I do have extended family and siblings but they have turned their back on me and parents so I don't think they would be reliable for me,.. or willing to put out any effort for me

Since I had to fight for everything with my parents and they had no prior planning... I kind of know more about getting things together for myself so whoever does have POA would have it much much easier.

You mentioned you do have friends that don't live in the same town. .. I don't think you necessarily have to live in the same city or area.. so that might be a possibility for you. To me the biggest consideration would be .. can you trust them.

Maybe we should form a caregivers or ex caregivers with no family group to support each other?
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