Most seniors are determined to remain in their homes for as long as possible, and with good reason. Many of them have spent years in their homes, making their homes reassuring, comfortable places that hold important memories. But when it comes to seniors living alone, they often face dangers that can put their health and safety at risk.
Common Dangers of Seniors Living Alone
Seniors may want to stay in their homes, but living alone carries certain dangers as we age. Luckily, there are also ways to avoid or reduce these risks.
As we age, declining sight, balance, and strength mean that we’re at an increased risk of falls. And if those falls do occur, they can result in more significant injuries than a younger person would receive. When seniors live alone, they’re facing that increased risk of falls, but it’s possible that no one would be aware if they were injured and needed help.
You can minimize the chance of a senior being injured by making some adjustments to their home to make it a safer place. Using an emergency alert device can also promptly alert you if your loved one were to fall when no one else was around.
As seniors age, they tend to become more socially isolated. Friends may move away, and seniors may go out less often because of physical limitations or other challenges. When seniors are living in a house, they miss out on some of the natural isolation that a group living situation, like an assisted living facility, provides. This means that it’s important to take steps to help keep a senior socially active, such as taking them out to events and gatherings, and making sure that friends and family stop by the house regularly. A caregiver can play an important role in helping to prevent social isolation.
Loneliness and Depression
Loneliness and depression are additional risks when seniors live alone at home. The two are closely linked; loneliness has a direct and negative impact on our emotional well-being. Loneliness can increase stress, decrease the quality of sleep, and contribute to depression.
Seniors may be at risk of poor nutrition when they live alone. Some seniors find shopping for groceries or affording healthy food difficult, and physical limitations may make a senior reluctant to cook for themselves.
Keeping Seniors Safe When They Live Alone
There are certainly dangers that come with seniors living alone, but there are also ways you can reduce those dangers and keep seniors in their homes, safely. Consider hiring a caregiver to travel to the senior’s home to provide help and to check in on the senior. At Cahoon Cares, our caregivers can perform tasks like light meal prep and housekeeping, offering companionship, taking a senior to doctor’s appointments or social outings, and more. This extra help can make all the difference when you have a loved one living alone and aren’t able to get out to check on them every day.
If you would like to learn more about the care we can offer to seniors in their own homes, please contact us today. We would be happy to talk about how we can help to keep a senior living at home safe.