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How Elder Orphans Cope with the Jolt of a Medical Crisis

Coping with a Medical Crisis as an Elder OrphanEveryone will experience a medical crisis at some point in their life, and this event can range from an unexpected fracture due to a fall or the diagnosis of a serious illness. When that moment occurs, the world crashes and even the smallest tasks feel overwhelming. Elder orphans frequently manage these serious circumstances alone, which compounds an already difficult situation.

Elder orphans, or aging adults who lack a large circle of support, face a unique challenge with the solo management of a health care crisis. How can elder orphans best handle a medical event that impacts all areas of their life?  Focusing on small, immediate tasks, like arranging for the care of pet, is an easy place to begin.

During the urgency of a crisis, an elder orphan may find it beneficial to be assisted by a patient advocate who asks pertinent questions of medical professionals, takes notes at appointments, and ensures that the information conveyed is understood.  Patient advocates may be a close friend or family member, or they can be a professional from a company such as IKOR.

Another component of handling a medical crisis is planning ahead by establishing medical and financial directives prior to a medical event, so that the aging person’s wishes are respected.  Elder orphans should also build networks of close friends who can provide support and help diffuse stress during a problematic time.

For information on how elder orphans can prepare for a possible medical crisis, please visit Helping Clients Navigate a Medical Crisis, The Important Role of the Patient Advocate, and Health Care Planning Following a Diagnosis of Dementia.