When Your Loved One Can No Longer Live Alone
It is no secret that many elderly people across the country live alone, but it should be known that it can be quite dangerous for a senior adult to live by themselves. In a report given by AARP, almost 90% of people aged 65 or over want to stay at home for as long as possible. While staying at home and in a community that they are familiar with may have benefits to a person’s emotional health, much research also indicates that many people who should be getting assisted living care are not. Instead, they are still living at home, and alone, in a large number of cases.
While to a younger person, it may make complete sense for an elder to move to an assisted-living facility, this is not the case for many older adults. A report provided by the Administration on Aging showed that almost 29% (that is 11.3 million elderly adults) lived alone in 2010. What’s more—estimates show that over 12% of persons aged 65 and above (totaling than 5 million) need some form of long-term care in their day-to-day lives.
So, for those family members whose job it is to look after their aging loved ones, it is important to make sure that the environment in which they live is up to the standards required for their physical needs. This is especially true if the person shows symptoms of early cognitive decline. If you notice that a loved one needs help with their daily activities like eating, bathing and dressing, this may be a sign of cognitive decline associated with early or middle stages of dementia. Even when living in their own house, if they suffer from poor eyesight, they can be at greater risk for falls, broken bones, or even death.
Some warning signs that it may no longer be safe for your loved one to live alone include:
- Medication management issues
- Poor eyesight
- Social isolation
- Forgetting appointments
- An inability to keep up with daily chores or housekeeping
- Poor nutrition or malnutrition
- Home safety hazards like poor lighting or loose carpeting
- And an inability to pay bills on time
As those who care for our aging loved ones, it is our responsibility then to take precautions and the necessary actions to make sure that they remain safe, healthy, and receive the proper medical attention and care that will allow them to live as fulfilling a life as possible as they progress through their golden years.