According to a survey conducted by AARP, nine out of ten older adults say they want to continue living in their current homes as they get older. That can mean that they eventually end up living alone. Today, there are approximately 11.3 million senior citizens living alone. We’d like to say that’s a great thing, and in some ways it is, but the problem is that there are many dangers in seniors living alone.
Below are just five dangers older adults may encounter when living alone.
#1 Social Isolation
People who live alone are at an increased risk for social isolation. Social isolation occurs when a person has little to no meaningful contact with other people. Being socially isolated can lead to a host of problems, including loneliness, a weakened immune system, altered sleep patterns, and higher stress levels. One study even indicated that people who are socially isolated 30 percent higher risk of dying.
#2 No Assistance in an Emergency
When seniors live alone, they have no one to rely on if a sudden emergency occurs. You’ve probably heard stories of older adults who fell lying on the floor until someone happened to discover them. Consider, too, what would happen if a person living alone were to have a heart attack or stroke and be unable to dial 911.
#3 Medication Errors
An older adult living alone may make errors in taking medications. They might forget that they already took them and take them again, leading to an overdose. Or, they may forget to take them at all, making their symptoms worse.
Experts at the Mayo Clinic say that one of the things that can lead to malnutrition in aging adults is eating meals alone. They may not enjoy meals as much, so they lose interest in cooking and eating. Instead, they might grab whatever is easiest, which can lead to poor eating habits.
#5 Uncleanly Living Conditions
Keeping the house clean can be difficult for older adults. They may have physical limitations that prevent them from cleaning, or they may simply lack the motivation to clean because they are the only ones affected by the dirty house. In some cases, the task of keeping a house up can seem overwhelming to the point that the person just does not know where to start. Whatever the case may be, the result can be unhygienic living conditions.
Your aging family member who lives alone doesn’t have to face all these dangers. A home care provider can assist with all of them. Home care providers are a point of social contact and can also drive seniors to social gatherings. Having someone come to the home regularly can help prevent emergency situations because the home care provider could notice symptoms that indicate help is needed. Home care providers can also remind seniors to take their medications and help them to track when they have taken prescriptions, helping to avoid overdoses or missed doses. Finally, a home care provider can help with household tasks, like cooking and cleaning. And, if your family member does not want to eat alone, a home care provider makes perfect company!
For Home Care Services in Atoka TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!