What Are the Dangers of Seniors Living Alone?

Published on
April 6, 2021 9:29:06 AM PDT April 6, 2021 9:29:06 AM PDTth, April 6, 2021 9:29:06 AM PDT

If you have an aging relative who insists on living at home rather than in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you may be worried about their safety. It is a sad fact, but seniors who live alone are at a higher risk of falls, not to mention other physical and mental issues such as feeling socially isolated and becoming withdrawn from friends and family.

  

That being said, if your loved one is adamant that they want to remain in their own home, for your own peace of mind, it can be a good idea to find out what are the dangers of seniors living alone and how you can prevent them.

 

1) Risk of Falling

Falls in the home are one of the leading causes of death among seniors, with an increased risk of falling and becoming seriously injured with every year that passes. In fact, according to the centers for disease control, nearly a third of seniors in the United States fall each year, with about half of these falls that require hospitalization taking place at home. 


To protect your loved one from suffering a fall, make sure that you identify and eliminate any tripping hazards in their home, such as large rugs, broken flooring, and stairs or steps without a handrail. 


2) Anxiety and Depression

When seniors want to stay in their own homes, they tend to think predominantly about keeping their independence. However, they often forget that living alone can be both isolating and scary. In fact, social isolation can easily lead to both depression and anxiety in seniors, both of which can have a detrimental effect on their mental and physical wellbeing. 


Avoid this by making sure your elderly relative has lots of visitors and, if possible, remains an active member of the local community by participating in local clubs or events. 


3) Memory Loss

If your aging relative suffers from any form of cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease, you may be worried about how they are going to cope living alone. Fortunately, there are several home care products that you can purchase to help someone who suffers from memory loss.  


These include an automatic sliding door that provides safety and convenience, an automatic pill dispenser that can help with medication adherence, and hydration aids that remind someone to keep up their fluid intake. 


4) Overlooked Illness

When it comes to your health, it can be all too easy to miss signs that tell you all is not right, and this is particularly true if you live alone. Certain conditions such as dementia develop gradually over time and are, therefore, harder to identify. 

Counteract this potential danger of seniors living alone by ensuring that your loved one visits their doctor for regular check-ups and by making sure family and friends remain vigilant of any changes to either an elderly person’s mental or physical state. 


5) Financial Strain 

Living alone as a senior citizen can be challenging financially, especially if they are used to sharing the cost of living with a spouse. From unexpected home repairs to day-to-day upkeep, your loved one may be struggling to manage their finances on their own. 


If this is the case for your aging relative, there are many resources and local services that can talk to them about their funding options.