The phenomenon of solo aging versus aging within traditional family structures presents a variety of contrasting experiences

Social and Support System:
Solo Aging: Individuals may lack a built-in support system which can lead to challenges in managing daily tasks, health care, and decision-making processes. They also face the high risk of social isolation and loneliness, if proactive steps are not taken to build and maintain social connections. Finding engagement and purpose requires initiative, such as community involvement, hobbies, or part-time work.

Traditional Family Structures: Individuals have family members including spouse, children, and extended family, who can provide support with daily living tasks, healthcare decisions, and emotional support. Family gatherings, events, and regular interactions with family members can provide a natural social environment, potentially reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Financial and Legal Planning:
Solo Aging: Individuals bear the sole responsibility for their financial and legal affairs. Complex financial planning, Retirement savings, estate planning, and end-of-life decisions need to be navigated independently or with the help of professional advisors.

Traditional Family Structures: Family members can offer advice, support, and shared resources, which may simplify financial and legal planning.

Healthcare and Caregiving:
Solo Aging: Health and caregiving concerns need to be proactively addressed. Planning for future caregiving needs, hiring professional caregivers, or exploring community resources are essential steps.

Traditional Family Structures: Family members often step into caregiving roles, providing assistance with healthcare management and activities of daily living. Familial relationships can provide a sense of belonging, emotional support, and a safety net during tough times.

Housing and Living Arrangements:
Solo Aging: Individuals might need to consider alternative housing options like shared housing, assisted living, or age-friendly communities earlier on.

Traditional Family Structures: Family homes can be adapted to changing needs, and multigenerational living arrangements can provide mutual support.

Solo aging and aging within traditional family structures have distinct concerns and support dynamics. Adapting to the unique demands of either scenario requires a tailored approach, informed by an understanding of these inherent differences.

Carol Marak, Author, Speaker, Go-to Authority on Aging Alone

After spending nearly a decade helping her elderly parents with the aging issues, Carol had a wake-up call, “Who will do for me all the things I did for my parents?” Taking note of that difficult realization, she got on the stick and created a roadmap to guide her in addressing the inevitable complexities of aging while living alone.

Carol knows what’s truly needed when a person has only herself to rely on.

She has taught hundreds of adults to think more creatively about and to take action for acquiring stronger health, a connected and supportive lifestyle, an inspiring purpose, more engagement, safe and secure finances and legal concerns—and more. Media refers to Carol Marak as the go-to authority of the fastest growing adult population—aging alone aka, solo agers.

Outside of my passion for mentoring and supporting solos, I enjoy the outdoors as an avid walker.

And most importantly, I'm thrilled when individuals begin to explore the wide-range of possibilities they have available to them to live well far beyond tomorrow!