"Elder orphans" is a new buzzword in current writings about aging. It describes seniors who are single or widowed; they have no children, at least in the area; and no support system. This group will continue to grow as baby boomers, who are more likely to meet this definition, age and life expectancy continues to lengthen.
Aging in place can be dangerous for this group. The risks they face are detailed in a new study I reviewed in a recent blog post. See bit.ly/1IjRU90