An increasing number of aged people prefer living these days independently, so it is very important to ensure their safety. The general belief is that as you grow older, you begin to lose some of your mental focus and lose track of your movement. This is true and is the reason why the senior’s home was created. This allows them to live with people of the same age and get the maximum care and attention. Nevertheless, some seniors still prefer to leave alone and manage their independence. If you have such type, there is a need to ensure maximum safety; protecting them from potential hazards and even themselves. Besides this, seniors living alone are a potential target for criminals. But before we dive into the safety tips for seniors, let’s look at the impact of living alone for the senior citizens.
The impact of living alone is like a two-sided coin that has the head and the tails, meaning it has its benefit and disadvantage. We will be discussing both sides so that you will know the best option for your seniors. Some senior people prefer living alone. They thrive on independence, while others would choose to be in a community. This is good for their social and mental health but is it really what they want? When this is critically examined, some seniors don’t want to be checked into a senior home because they feel it will curb their independence. They need to have a feeling of being able to perform their daily task.
Independence: growing old in a familiar environment gives a sense of independence. You live by your own rule and principle. You have all your things. They bring familiar memories. You select the activities you would like to do instead of being restricted by doctors or caretakers in the senior’s home.
Being close to family and friends: living close to friends and family is one of the greatest advantages of staying alone and not in a nursing or retirement home. You are easily accessible to your family, friends, neighbor, and people you can trust. This is one of the problems of retirement centers. Your friends and family have to observe certain protocols before visiting and will not spend as much time as they would like.
Comfortability: there are so many reasons seniors decide to stay in a familiar environment: being comfortable. Stay in your own home means you have your spaces and schedule compared to the nursing home, where it has to balance with other people living in the community. Some nursing homes may come with a smaller space, unlike your home with all the space you need. Planning your schedule is according to your needs instead of with other residents of the nursing home. These caregivers take care of the seniors and ensure that they take their medication at the appropriate time.
There are always two sides to a coin. Below are some of the negative impact of seniors living alone;
Loneliness: This is why most seniors are transferred to the nursing home. Loneliness in the geriatric population leads to other health issues. According to research, loneliness leads to an increase in stress levels and blood pressure. It is more pronounced in the senior population.
Increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease: age is a risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease, but loneliness increases its progression. According to the study, this disease can quickly degenerate when present in a lonely senior.
Seniors living alone can enjoy their comfort; however, safety precautions need to be observed. These precaution guides against potential hazards that could occur if a caregiver is not around. here are a few safety tips you can indulge to keep your senior citizens safe:
1. Keep an emergency number close by. An accident is prone to happen at any time, so it is crucial to prepare for any eventualities. It is important to keep emergency numbers in places where it can be easily accessible for seniors. For instance, it should be programmed to their smartphones, in their wallet, and other strategic places.
2. Request for a weekly checkup: as a senior, there is a need for granny nannies or any available member to check up on you. Aside from the fact that this provides occasional companionships, they can also help some of your needs. For example, a trip to the grocery store.
3. Create a fall-proof environment: the easiest way for the older population to be injured is through a simple fall. You will be astounded at how this can quickly disorganize your life. Stray electrical cords, poor lighting systems are the causes of falls in a senior home. It is important to make your home fall-proof by making some level of changes to it. Make sure the lighting system is in good working conditions. Remove any objects that could be a potential cause in a fall.
4. Keep a list of medications that can be easily accessed: this is important, especially for Alzheimer’s disease. the list of medication should be kept in your purse or other location where you can see it
5. Have a security device: you don’t know what is around the corner, so it is crucial to defend yourself against unforeseen dangers. It is a nice idea to carry a gun. Some different types and sizes are designed for the older population. You can check out holsters for older people that live alone.
6. Know your neighbors: a senior living alone should familiarize himself with his/her neighbors because they are the first set of people to socialize with, and they can be of great help during an emergency. Most times, the neighbors are the first in noticing if anything is wrong or amiss before any other family and friends. So as a senior, getting to know your neighbors is important too.
7. Install a medical system: the medical system’s presence gives immediate access to trained emergency personnel. It is usually installed in a bracelet or necklace, one push of the button does these. This is quite useful because you may not be able to locate your cell during an emergency.
8. Install motion sensors: as seniors, installing motion sensors is one way to wad-off intruders. If they come near your home, the light is activated, and they will flee.
9. Install and update your fire Alarm system: this is vital because smoke can easily affect seniors in case of a fire outbreak. According to standard, the fire alarm should be updated every 10years. In case of a fire outbreak, always have an exit plan.
10. Flashlights and batteries: you never know when this will come in handy, so it is advisable to keep one in each room.