Older adults are largely independent, which is generally a good thing. However, in the later years of life, emotional, social, and physical changes tend to occur. Some of these changes can make it impractical or unhealthy to live alone, at least not without some type of assistance. Below, you’ll find some reasons living alone without help can be unsafe for seniors.
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), in the United States, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury every 11 seconds. Injuries of this nature can be caused by hearing, vision, and joint issues that are common among older adults. A family member or in-home care professional can mitigate fall risks by spotting and eliminating potential hazards, such as loose rugs, and providing assistance with more demanding household tasks.
Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional at-home care seniors can trust and rely on.
Seniors living alone aren’t as likely to prepare well-balanced, nutrient-rich meals for themselves, especially if they find TV dinners or other quick meal options easier. The problem with these kinds of eating habits is that nutrition may be sacrificed for the sake of convenience. This can be a problem for older adults’ safety and wellbeing because an aging body needs a steady influx of nutrients to maintain optimal bone, muscle, digestive, and brain health. Possible solutions include:
• Meal delivery services for seniors
• Efforts to make cooking a group activity that includes help from family members and friends
• In-home assistance that involves help with cooking and weekly grocery shopping
Lack of Sufficient Exercise
Elderly individuals living alone may not feel motivated to get regular exercise, even if they did so in the past. A reduced activity level can weaken muscles and bones and contribute to an assortment of health and safety risks, including fractured or broken bones, spinal disc problems, arthritis, and conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as diabetes. Having regular assistance from friends, family members, neighbors, and in-home care providers can help seniors be more motivated to stay active in ways that boost their health and safety.
Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Denver, CO, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Social isolation is considered one of the most serious health issues faced by aging Americans today, and more than 40 percent of seniors who live on their own report feeling lonely. Several studies also note a lack of regular companionship can contribute to cognitive decline in older adults. With assistance, which may include in-home care, senior transportation services, community-based programs for older adults, or some extra effort on the part of family members, seniors can retain their independence while still having opportunities to:
• Participate in favorite activities
• Get out and about in their own neighborhoods
• Explore new activities or hobbies with like-minded seniors
Decreased Quality of Life
Living alone without appropriate assistance has the potential to impact overall quality of life. For instance, an inability to perform routine household tasks may result in a messy house, clutter, mold, and other problems that can affect safety, health, and the ability to function. But with the appropriate level of assistance, seniors can maintain a high quality of life throughout their golden years.
A professional home caregiver can be a tremendous asset if your loved one prefers to live alone. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Denver families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call Home Care Assistance at (720) 443-3371 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.