Tips for Seniors Living Alone: How to Create Safe Environment

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3 Aug 2018 - General

Are you a senior living alone? Growing old presents new challenges in life from trivial daily tasks as simple as getting out of the tub. It’s best to protect and prepare yourself for living alone to ensure your health and safety at all times. Here are a few tips you can implement to assist you with a comfortable and secure lifestyle into your twilight years.


Consult with an Occupational Therapist

Start your preparations with a risk assessment of your home. Consult with an occupational therapist and let them review your living space. Falls are devastating injuries for seniors. The impact of a heavy fall may break your hip or damage your spine, requiring anesthesia and surgery to fix the injury.

An OT identifies the tripping and fall hazards in your home. They’ll give you guidance on installing handrails on staircases, anti-slip mats in the bathroom and under rugs, as well as wheelchair ramps for easy access. Install motion sensor lights above exterior doorways and in your yard to alert you of intruders and deter their presence.


Know Your Neighbors

Developing relationships is one of the most important aspects of aging. Get to know your neighbors; they could be your saving grace in the case of an emergency. Furthermore, socializing will help you to deal with feelings of anxiety and depression.

Keep their contact in your phone with the letters ICE, (In Case of Emergency), in front of their name. Ask them to check in on your once or twice a week if they have the time, and it’s nice to have a bit of company around to fend off the boredom of being alone in your home.


Utilize Technology

Communications in the digital age are instantaneous and on-demand. There’s no excuse why every senior shouldn’t have a cell phone loaded with emergency numbers. Download an app that increases the size of the keyboard allowing you to type without straining your eyes. Keep in touch with your loved ones using apps like WhatsApp and Facetime.

A medical alert smartwatch is a good solution is an excellent solution for monitoring your vital statistics. The device measures a variety of bodily functions including blood pressure, glucose levels, and heart rate. If a medical emergency presents itself, the smartwatch will automatically send an alert to your nurse or family members.

Seniors need a regular and consistent medication schedule. Purchasing an automatic pill dispenser with an alarm feature will ensure you never forget to take your meds.


Hire an Aide

All seniors eventually struggle with mobility and cognitive issues. It’s harder to get out of the bath and remember where you left your keys with every passing day. Hiring professional help is the best way of dealing with a failing memory and a frail body.

A certified nursing assistant (CAN) has training in caring for seniors. Their skill set includes monitoring your daily health by taking your temperature and blood pressure. CAN’s assist you with mobility drills to keep your muscular and skeletal system healthy.

Depending on the state you reside in, there are government sponsored programs that offer financial assistance to seniors in need of assisted care. Check with your Medicare and Medicaid health providers to see if you are eligible for the program.


Consider Assisted Care

Living alone is taxing on your mental health. Feelings of loneliness often progress into a depression that ruins your psychological health and well-being. If you’re tired of being alone, look for assisted care facilities in your area.

Assisted living allows you the opportunity to be part of a community of like-minded seniors. Increasing your social interactions and engagement keeps your mind sharp, reducing the risk of developing cognitive issues such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.


Increase Home Security

If you live in a big city where crime is high, it’s a prudent move to improve your home security. Criminals see seniors as easy targets, so protect yourself and your home from intruders and thieves by installing an alarm linked to a private security firm.

Carry a panic button on a chain around your neck and don’t be afraid to use if you feel threatened.