There are several sets of ideal readers for Suddenly Single. They include widows and widowers, new fathers whose wives die during childbirth, divorcees, long-term caregivers, the terminally ill, and relatives of widows and widowers. With the exception of new fathers, the bulk of these readers are Baby Boomers in their 60s and 70s.
Many of them are retired, having planned on spending the rest of their lives with their spouses. They are unexpectedly alone and may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that they will now be required to do. If they are a long-term caregiver, statistics show that they did not chose to take over this role, but felt obligated to do so.
Widows and widowers may have had a brief period of time during their spouse’s illness where they became aware that they might end up alone, but the illness may have been brief and left them little or no time to prepare. If they planned their finances carefully, they may be financially secure, or they may be like a divorcee who suddenly realizes that her husband wants to jettison her for a younger model.
The new father who suddenly loses his wife will most likely not be prepared for this situation at all, thinking that he would have many years with his young wife before they had to consider death and dying.
Likewise, divorcees may find themselves suddenly ousted from their seemingly-secure marriages, finding themselves in need of information on how to maintain their homes.
The serious illness of a parent or loved one can add stress as individuals try to juggle the demands of managing more than one household and family. Terminally ill individuals may wish to plan ahead by practically preparing their families for their eventual demise. The relatives of widows and widowers may wish to provide their loved ones with the guidelines for effective household management.
According to the American Community Survey Report, their statistics state that “the majority of widowed males and females were 65 years and over (70 percent and 66 percent, respectively)” (7). Widow’s Hope states that “800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States. Nearly 700,000 women lose their husbands every year and will be widows for an average of 14 years” (para. 1). Widow’s Hope further states that “there are 13.6 million widows in the United States” (para. 2); over half of the women in America who are over 65 years old are widowed (Widow’s Hope, para. 19).
The problem will only increase over time, since the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there will be 88.5 million people over the age of 65 in 2050 (Profile America Facts for Features, para. 3).
Now you know!