|Is it safe for the elderly to live alone? The answer is yes! But certain precautions must be taken. Because as we age we can experience new problems. Read further to become aware of how a senior citizen can safely live alone.|
So, you’re a senior citizen. And now you live alone. So what? What’s the big deal? You’ve lived alone before haven’t you? Maybe you like peace and quiet. And not having responsibility for anyone except yourself.
While that is all well and good, be aware that as we age, we are statistically more prone to certain problems.
Those problems are:
- Falls or accidents
- Not getting the right nutrition
- Medication issues
- Financial strain
- Undiagnosed illnesses
So what can an individual, who lives alone, do about these problems? Because ultimately, we want to avoid them if possible. The answer is simple but also difficult.
Because the answer is to have someone involved with your life that can assist in all these areas. Which is an easy solution if you are fortunate to have family living nearby to assist you. But what if you don’t?
Then here are the steps that most senior organizations recommend.
Find An Advocate
First steps should include at least one of the following. For good measure, I would contact all of these recommendations. Contact;
- Office of Aging in your area
- Contact your physician for programs and recommendations
- Contact your local senior center
It is vital you have someone to come alongside you to keep an eye on you on a regular basis. Yes, this could be an in-home care person. But find out if there are other options. Geriatric care managers are wonderful liaisons to help you get whatever help you need.
Even if you have a friend that is also a senior, that would be helpful. That way you can both monitor each other. A friend to friend solution might be one of the best, because it gives you both a purpose. This is one of the solutions to loneliness, as well as keeping us engaged with others and contributing to society. Helping others has been proven to make us feel better!
So find a solution that works best for you. Other suggestions from you are welcome!
Set Up Your Home With Safety In Mind
Living in a safe environment will reduce your chance of falling and having other accidents. As we age our balance declines, as well as our ability to walk. Learn to slow down! We would all agree that it is better to get where you are going a bit late rather than falling and not getting there at all.
Would a cane help? Or a walker? Don’t discount these devices. They can add to your life by giving you more mobility and confidence. Because I have chronic pain, I sometimes use a cane because it hurts so much to walk.
Make sure all your rooms are well lit. Use night lights where necessary. It is just too easy to trip on something and lose our balance. Installing those half globe push lights is easy and provides a fast solution to a better lit area.
Watch out for cords. The ones I am thinking of are the cords we use to charge our devices like phones and laptops. Keep them out of the way!
You should also invest in some sort of medical alert device that lets someone know if you have fallen. There are many on the market. I’ve written about one of the best here.
Enlist Your Physician
I know my doctor has become more integral in my life now that I am older. Although I don’t see her much, I realize she is there to assist me in more than just my health. She was able to refer me to a pain management program and other programs I need.
Your physician should be one of your best advocates. If they aren’t then I suggest you find one that is. They should know your health issues well enough that if you are declining in a certain area, they will be able to identify that. And then take steps to help you.
You can help them by keeping records yourself. Monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly, if these are concerns. Watch your weight. Eat right! Move some. My friend thinks he is developing a gut, so he is now walking every morning as soon as he gets up. (He is legally blind, so walking when it is just barely light is his best option.)
Drink lots of water! Water is an easy solution to many health problems. And an incredible help to clear thinking and other body functions. Keep track with an app.
Even though you are enlisting your doctor’s help, the bottom line is that you must be your own best advocate. You know your body, your pain, your needs and your struggles better than anyone. Advocate for yourself and your needs.
I have taken this philosophy to heart because of my pain. My pain doctors have helped me a lot, but are at the end of their ability to help me further. So I remain proactive and do what I can to manage my pain. How about you?
Research states that seniors take an average of eight prescriptions a day. It is easy to forget to take them or over medicate. It is a challenge to organize them. Even opening the bottle can be difficult!
Ask your pharmacy to provide easy to open bottles for your prescriptions. Then check into some sort of system to stay on top of your medications. I have written an article about pill organizers. Check it out here.
I hope you planned well for your retirement. Many people didn’t. Some of my senior neighbors still have to work. In fact, I am building my websites to generate some income.
There are tools online that can help you with financial planning and apps that track your expenses. Check them out. I use Mint to track my daily expenses. My credit card is linked to the app so that it loads automatically. It is good practice to keep watch over your accounts weekly.
Have you applied for Social Security if you qualify? Check into doing so. It is a fairly easy process. And with that comes Medicare which is a great help to cover our medical expenses. Then take time to find the best plan for your needs.
Another word about finances and that is SCAMS! It grieves me deeply that senior citizens continue to fall prey to unprincipled greedy criminals that rope them into a scam. Please, if you are unsure of someone asking you for money, hang up and check them out. Do not be intimidated!
Call your police department if you are unsure about this and ask for more information. You can also read my articles about scams. Just click on the Scam tab at the top of this page.
It is my hope that this article has been helpful for you. Please leave a comment or a question. Your involvement may help someone else to live alone in safety and contentment.