I am a 73-year-old orphan. Now what?

At first it may sound silly or improbable. But this is, or will be, the reality for as many as one in four seniors.

​These seniors find themselves managing chronic diseases, new diagnoses, medical appointments, treatments and hospitalizations on their own. They do not have the support they need or desire, and are anxious about their health care future.
Take Ben, for instance. He is a widow who has also outlived his children. Although he is quick to point out that he is in excellent health, he wonders what will happen should he one day find himself in a health crisis. Sure, he has plenty of friends, but no one whom he could comfortably call in time of need. In fact, he is due for his colonoscopy this year and has no one to accompany him to the procedure. Ben jokingly adds that this is not a request he plans on making of his golfing buddy.

Karen is a retired nurse and manages all her health issues quite effectively on her own. She never married, has no children, and has one out-of-state sibling who can no longer travel. She pre-arranged and planned all that was possible in an effort to feel prepared and secure. However, the probability of finding herself alone during a hospitalization, perhaps unable to advocate for herself, continues to cause distress that keeps her up at night. She just wants a plan in place that insures her a knowledgeable and dependable person by her side, if and when the day arrives.

Naomi is a spunky 83-year-old who is scheduled for elective surgery at one of the finest medical institutions in the country. She trusts her surgeon implicitly, but recalls her only other hospitalization in her very long and healthy life. During that previous hospital stay, Naomi was inadvertently given the only medication to which she was allergic. Although she is ready to proceed with her surgery, she requests a bedside companion who can keep a knowledgeable account of her care and advocate for her if indicated.

These are just a few of the real life client stories presented to Guided Patient Services by seniors in need. We will continue to do our very best to “adopt” these elder orphans and advocate for them just like family!

If we can ever be assistance to you or someone you love, please don’t hesitate to call 614-981-5951 or email us at: annette@GPScolumbus.com

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