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  • U.S. News & World Report

6 Tips for Aging Alone

Whether it's a widow or widower remaining on their own, a childless and single older adult who relishes independence or a rural resident embracing solitude, the term "solo ager" is used to describe an individual who lives without a partner or other relatives.

These adults are also particularly common in the U.S., according to a 2020 study conducted by the Pew Research Center. In fact, 27% of American adults over age 60 don’t have a spouse, children or other family nearby to care for them.

Those aging alone face a specific set of challenges that, while not insurmountable, do require some forethought and planning.

Here, experts pinpoint six common problems that can arise when aging in place and how to tackle them.

1. Mobility Issues

If moving around is an issue, adding practical tools – like a cane, walker or rollator (a walker with wheels and a seat) – can help you navigate your space without the help of another human, says Jenny Munro, a gerontologist and response team manager at Home Instead, an Honor Company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.

Wheelchairs, stair lifts and other devices can also help you get around your home safely and with less pain.

You may need to do some home remodeling, such as widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters or installing ramps to eliminate stairs or ease entry to the home.

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