If you are the elderly living alone, these are some things to consider. Install a home security system to ensure more safety. Make your home senior-friendly, install handholds. Remove hazards in your living space to prevent falls. Make an emergency contact list and consider an alert system, use gadgets to make your life easier. Get to know your neighbors. Read further for more tips for the elderly living alone.
Although most of us don’t like to consider living alone in our old age, unfortunately, it’s a very common occurrence and one that needs planning if we’re to enjoy our twilight years. As we get older our mobility often suffers which means we have to plan ahead for many activities that we wouldn’t have considered when we were younger.
Let’s look at a few of these and see how we can look after ourselves properly or how we can look after the seniors in our care.
How to live Alone in old age?
Remove tripping Hazards
Falling is one of the major contributors to injury in seniors. We can prevent many falling injuries just by keeping our home tidy and in good repair. Exposed electrical cords, frayed carpets, slippery floors, and poor lighting all contribute. Ensure potential hazards are tucked away or repaired as soon as possible.
Consider an alert System
There are several senior alert systems on the market at present. An elderly person, living alone wears a ‘panic button’ on a lanyard around their neck. In case of a fall or other emergency, she activates the alarm to summon help.
Some supervised senior communities have an intercom system, where not only can the senior speak to their helper, but the helper can also check up on them at regular intervals.
Install a home security System
Being alone can be a frightening experience especially if you are worried about a break-in. A home security system consisting of a few CCTV cameras linked to a central screen is a feasible option now that sophisticated electronics have become so cheap.
Cameras and motion sensors keep an eye on your property so that the senior and their family can spot any suspicious activity and have a permanent record if anything happens.
Install Handholds in the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of the highest injury risk areas in a senior’s home. Most bathrooms have smooth vinyl or stone floors, but unfortunately, when these become wet, they are an accident waiting to happen. Shower trays and baths are two places where smooth surfaces and water mix.
Get to know your Neighbors
Not only is it good to have neighbors you can chat with or share interests, but also they are useful if you need help in an emergency. And, don’t forget you can look out for them too. If everyone chatted with each other and watched out for one another, seniors would have all the support they needed.
How many times have you felt ill, but still had to go to the pharmacy to collect medicines or the supermarket to collect groceries? One of the best things a senior can do is get to know people. Seeing friends regularly is probably one of the best ways to stay healthy and form a self-help and support network.
Make an Emergency contact List
Get together with your neighbors and friends and form an emergency contact circle. Phone your friends every day to check they are alright and whether they need anything. You also have a ready-made list of people you can contact in an emergency. If your phone allows speed-dial, program their phone numbers so you can contact them by pressing just one number.
Lock Doors and windows
Whenever a senior, who lives alone, goes out to the store or to see friends, they should always ensure all doors and windows are closed and locked. This isn’t just sensible to prevent break-ins and burglaries, but also to make sure that they have good personal safety.
Install a peephole and Security chain
Many unscrupulous people target seniors because they believe they are easily conned and overcome. If you install a peephole in your front door, you can always see who is there before you open it. Security chains are another way to protect yourself too. Always keep the chain engaged until you are sure you want to let the visitor inside your home.
Install motion-activated Lights
Motion sensors strategically placed around your property will activate floodlights, illuminating anyone who is acting suspiciously around your property. Not only do these scare off potential burglars, but they also alert you and your neighbors that someone is approaching your home. Just make sure you have them adjusted correctly otherwise your cat will set them off every five minutes.
Keep Plenty of medication available
It’s a fact of life that seniors usually need more medication than other people. If however, you live alone and run out of your essential meds, it can be a devastating situation. Not only are you not always able to visit the pharmacy, but if you feel unwell, it’s often not possible to leave the house. Having extra meds around the house isn’t only a ‘buffer’, it’s also useful if you habitually misplace your medication.
Develop a disaster Kit
This might sound extreme but it’s a very sensible thing to have. Many places suffer extreme weather, freezing temperatures, floods or power blackouts as a matter of course and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for this. Keep a plastic box with a waterproof and sealable lid at home specifically for your disaster kit.
You should include essentials such as dried food and bottled water; blankets, candles, flashlight with spare batteries, matches and medical supplies. You can also include a small battery-operated radio and a fully charged mobile cell phone.
Don’t forget to include suitable food if you have a pet. Also, don’t forget a litter tray if the weather is too extreme for them to go outside. I’m sure you can come up with a few other items to make your time more comfortable, so think about it.
One of the best ways to stay safe at home is to live and eat healthily. Things like plenty of exercising, a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and having an active social life. All these will ensure you have the best possible chance of staying healthy and make it easier to remain happy and safe when you’re on your own.
If aging in place is important to you, then you need to take some action. Hopefully, this article provided good ideas on how to live alone in older age. For more information, you should also check useful products for seniors who live alone.