“In 2003, Jeff Kunerth of the Chicago Tribune was writing about a rapidly growing number of seniors who were living without any support network, and the difficulties this presented for them as they aged. He wanted to impart on his readers the situation these older Americans found themselves in, so he coined a term that instantly conveyed their situation to everyone: “elder orphans.” The phrase caught on and was soon being used by the media, medical professionals, aging experts and senior advocates to describe seniors who were living independently but lacked the support of family or close friends.
“Despite the embrace of the term “elder orphans,” there is still a widely held misconception that all seniors have family they can fall back on to help them manage the challenges of aging.”
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IKOR is a Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources partner in Lebanon and Lancaster Counties.