According to the American Psychological Association, 12 million Americans over the age of 65 currently live alone. That number is expected to increase to at least 13.4 million by 2035! Seniors citizens who live alone face a number of challenges, and it’s important for them to take steps to stay safe when they’re at home.
1. Maintain Your Health
Seniors who live alone are at risk of fall-related injuries. Living alone is has also been associated with several serious health conditions, including arthritis, glaucoma, and cataracts. To avoid these and other issues, seniors should take preventative action by maintaining their health. Some things they can do include:
• Quit smoking
• Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
• Keep up with immunizations and health screenings
• Manage Stress
2. Stay in Touch with Friends
Many seniors experience mental health conditions like depression and anxiety when they spend too much time in isolation. It is important for seniors living alone to have regular opportunities to spend time interacting in-person with friends and family. Daily check-in phone calls and time on social media can help seniors stay connected with their loved ones.
3. Keep Lists of Medications Handy
Seniors with specific medical conditions should always wear a medical ID bracelet. This makes it easy for emergency personnel to get the information they need if they ever need to come to your home. Furthermore, seniors should keep lists of medications, allergies, and personal information handy. Keep one list in a purse or wallet and another in a highly visible place, like the refrigerator or bulletin board.
4. Prevent Falls
The bathroom might be the most dangerous place for seniors who live alone. Installing grab bars around the shower and toilet can help them avoid slipping and falling. Non-slip bath mats are also beneficial. Some other steps seniors can take to prevent falls are:
• Improving in-home lighting
• Incorporating balance exercises into their fitness routine (with supervision)
• Switch to a first-floor bedroom to avoid stairs
These steps can significantly reduce risk for falls and the injuries that can accompany them. In the event that a senior does fall, though, it is important to have an alert system to ensure they get help as soon as possible.
5. Get a Medical Alert System
It is easier for older folks who live alone to stay safe and independent with medical alert systems for seniors.
The following features are most beneficial for seniors who live alone:
• Connects directly to emergency services
• Detects falls
• Monitors health vitals and includes medication reminders
• GPS location detection
• Fitness tracking
Seniors should also look for wearable, waterproof medical alert devices with a long battery life.
Keeping these tips in mind can help seniors stay safe and happy while living independently. Start implementing them today, or pass them along to a loved one who could benefit from the information.
Source: Senior Directory – seniordirectory.com/articles/info/5-ways-seniors-can-stay-safe-when-living-alone