Q&A: Care planning for ‘solo agers’

Dear Liz: My wife and I don’t have children or any relatives nearby. So far, we’re healthy and completely independent, but that won’t always be the case. Do you know of any fee-based agencies or organizations that might provide assistance with such things as arranging a caregiver if needed, or helping our executor clean out our home?

Answer: A geriatric care manager can help assess your needs as you age and come up with a plan to meet them, including arranging for caregivers or finding an assisted living facility. You can get referrals from the Aging Life Care Assn.

An estate liquidator or a professional organizer can help with clearing your home. You (or your executor) can get referrals from the American Society of Estate Liquidators and from the National Assn. of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.

Also consider building a community of friends and neighbors who can help you as you age, and vice versa. You might be able to get some help from the nonprofit Village to Village Network, which is a group of community-based membership organizations helping people to age in place. The books “Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?” by Joy Loverde and “Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers” by Sara Zeff Geber would be helpful reading.