Definitely not a cheerful subject, and one I avoid like the plague, but when the chips are down I can only see instability and misery in my future. I am now 71, have many serious physical and mental illnesses (bipolar disorder for instance), no family at all in this country and very few assets. Oh, dear! At present, I am a very active and gregarious person, take good care of my health, pay my bills, maintain my house, care for others and never depend on anybody. My life is stable and I am feeling fine, but I daren't think about the future.

With no family whatsoever there is definitely nobody to take care of me, or even care about me when the chips are down. People have their own families to care about. So I know I need a plan, but I am unable to write a will, for example, because I have no Power of Attorney to carry out any wishes that I might have. The bank does not do this, apparently, and friends come and go over the years. I have made a DNR and have left it with my doctor and the hospital, so that is a start, but I don't even know how anybody would cope with my beloved cats. There are so many obstacles because my cats hide when anybody comes, and one of my cats has kidney disease and needs a special diet. In fact I have nobody who would be willing to wrap up my affairs. I would want to be cremated but have no plan as to who could arrange this for me. In fact, I am at a total loss and when it comes to thinking about this I put it off every day because I can't think logically about this subject. Polyanna? Any ideas?

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What a thoughtful person you are to be thinking ahead, and I’m sorry that you seem to feel you’re going to have to travel this path alone.
If you are having to maintain your house now, perhaps you could consider downsizing sooner than later, and getting the equity out of it to help pay for an independent or assisted living situation, depending on your needs. You’d have a lot less to worry about and many allow pets.
I also would investigate no-kill shelters in your area just in case anything were to happen to you in an emergency.
I also recommend seeing an elder care lawyer. They can write up your directives, even including the cats, and possibly act as your POA. I think once you get a few things in writing you may feel better about your planning.
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Please, don't wait. I have a friend who, with all her other health problems, now has Parkinsons. She lost her house and knowing it was going to happen waited till the last minute to find a place to live and get moved out. She found a place a few days before they locked her out and she lost some of her stuff. I asked her now that she has this diagnosis, that Dementia is usually involved, what are her plans. Her plans are to stay where she is. This is an apartment not suited for a person with her disabilities. What will happen is the son with POA will end up putting her in LTC and forget about her. Then we are going to have to listen how her kids did her wrong. You suggest Medicaid for an aide, she doesn't want a stranger in her home. Apply for the Senior bus, said she did but never heard back. Personnally, don't think she ever called them. She rather complain she can't find rides to her doctors. Yes, I helped for a while but then I babysat my grandson and went right into caring for my Mom. I got my life back, sort of, this time last year. Sort of meaning, I am still dealing with a house that is falling apart and a disabled nephew.

As said, call Office of the aging to see what services they provide. Medicaid has services for low income people. Check out senior bussing. Here were I live there are services that come right to ur door, for a cost. There is stuff out there, just need to find out where. Ask Office of aging about the disabilities dept. They may have services you can use in the future.
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Usually when a person has no family, the assign a lawyer to handle this kind of thing. At 69 I have sworn I will not be an Executor or a POA for anyone else. They are both a big help when needed but also a lot of responsibility.

I know a lawyer sounds cold but sometimes a friend or family member turns out not to be a good choice. If you ever need LTC, a lawyer will be able to handle Medicaid a lot quicker. Your funeral can be prepaid. The money is put in a trust until your passing. You can tell the director exactly what you want and don't want. No matter what you decide, a lawyer is a good start.
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Dear Best,
I "get" what you're saying. I will retire in Mexico (hubs is Mexican). We have friends in the city where we'll live but, if hubs dies before me, I might be hard pressed to get by.
I speak Spanish and would have enough money to live on, so if I became physically infirm, I could hire help. However, (God forbid) if I become demented, I would truly be concerned. I have asked my step-daughter to watch over me at that point and handle what would need to be done. She agreed but it would be a huge interruption in her life.

Would your doctor be willing to be POA for you? Maybe he could recommend a Social Worker who could give you some resources.

I would also contact an elder law attorney. Usually the Senior Center in your town would have referrals for low to no cost consultations. Maybe the attorney would have some suggestions also.

Are there services to "check in" with aging seniors in your area? You could check the Yellow Pages (how dated is that? Am I showing my age?) or Internet for Senior Services.

I completely understand friends "coming and going", as 2 very close friends decided to "cool it" then later wanted back in the relationship (forget that!). Sometimes "Friends" can't be counted on.

I'd suggest you write out how you want things along with pertinent personal information, put it in a plastic sleeve and hang it on your refrigerator. Many emergency responders will look there. Be sure to include a list of the medications you take and your cats' needs.

Would joining activities at the Senior Center or YMCA interest you? I understand it's hard to get out there but more socializing might open up some new possibilities or, at least, some fresh ideas of what others are doing.

Good luck to all of us as we age.
👴🏼👵🏼 The future is a scary thing.
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Reading between the lines of your post, I can “hear” that your kitties are pretty close to your #1 concern in this. And, I understand. My dog is antisocial and won’t let anyone in the house. I often wonder if I needed 911 how they would get into the house to care for me and my blood runs cold when I imagine that scenario. Every city has local humane societies. Can you find a reputable one and call them to ask if something should happen to you would they care for your babies? A generous, yearly donation to them might grease the wheels, so to speak.

Contact your local Area on Aging Agency. They can offer guidance as far as possible guardianship should you become incapacitated. A lot of cities have a “daily call” program for Seniors. Our’s here is called “R U OK?”

As for all the other, I would contact an Elder Law Attorney for advice. The cost would be worth your peace of mind. And that way, you’d know everything would be in order.
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