Elder Orphans

As Baby Boomers age and there is an increasing number of childless and unmarried seniors, approximately 20 percent of Americans over age 65 are currently or at risk to become “elder orphans,” a vulnerable group requiring greater awareness and advocacy efforts, according to new research by Maria Torroella Carney, MD, chief of geriatric and palliative medicine at North Shore-LIJ Health System. The group is called elder orphans because seniors are aging alone and unsupported, with no known family member or designated surrogate to act on their behalf.

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