Thousands of childless and unbefriended adults are turning to Facebook build community

Picture: Flickr/Knight-Crane Convergence Lab

It’s not easy becoming older: Joint pain knees, trouble hearing — the types of problems that get more challenging when there’s nobody in your life that will help out you. Whether your loved ones lives far away or you’ve made the choice not to have children, not everybody out there has access to some normal support system. One girl is hoping to change that.        

Carol Marak, writer and editor for a website called SeniorCare.com, has built a community for & & interrogateldquo;unbefriended” adults to talk, share stories, and eventually become friends. And it’s happening on Facebook.        

The group is called Elder Orphans and can be comprised of over 6,000 people who are with no close family. While the rules to combine are stringent (“In case you’re a member and wed, please bow out”-RRB- the group is meant to bring those together who have no one else to rely on. The demand for the group came from rsquo & Marak;s own experience caring for the notion along with her parents that she may not have anyone to care for her if she was to get ill.  

“After caring for my parents — Mom with congestive heart failure and Dad with Alzheimer’s –I realized that I have no one to look after me personally. No husband, children, or partner. That’s why I launched the group,” said Marak in a meeting over — where else — Facebook messenger.  

“There’s close to 30 percent of those 65+ people who live at home alone with little to no help. Theyhave few relations,’re isolated, also have difficulties getting to medical therapies. Isolation is our biggest problem and may be the most crippling. [Elder Orphans] aims to make a place for us to exchange knowledge and support.”  

Along with providing care, Elder Orphans tackles and addresses the realistic side of developing older and living alone: Sharing resources, renting rooms, even finding someone to drive you to the doctor’s workplace. Members are invited to changes in local transport, share stories about their days are going, or anything that comes to mind.            

Picture: pixabay/freephotocc

Group admin Nancy Helgeson is a good buddy of Marak and considers herself an “elder orphan” who is hoping to give elderly adults something to look forward to on a constant basis.    

“Many elders come in the group believing they are very alone in their situation,” said Helgeson.  

“It’s very supportive for people to find others who are over 55, with no partner/spouse and have no children. So we have formed to share experiences, obtain support, and to share information to our scenario as we age.”  

Marak and Helgeson’s aim is to get visitors to take such conversations offline in order to offer makeshift “adopted” families for this particular community of “orphans.”  

“[We] expect that there’s connection with other people in local areas so that face-to-face relationship can happen,” lasted Helgeson. “That way the resource of having one another to lean on when necessary could be there.”  

Marak’s desire is that Elder Orphans climbs and inspires connections in “every city in the united states and beyond.”  

Another way that Facebook can bring folks together.      

Read more: http://mashable.com/

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