It is understandably difficult to start the discussion about the “hazards” of your older parent living alone and isolated not to mention the Herculean persuasion skills needed to convince your aging mom or dad to move into a safer environment. With 37.3% of older women and 19.1% of older men living alone in the United States currently, this often difficult but necessary conversation of the welfare of your loved one is common place. We at Senior Home Advocates understand this conversation, we specialize in reviewing the facilities in the Southern California area and we help many families start and successfully conclude these heartfelt and needed moments. The conversation you have with your family members about what to do with your loved one now that they are living alone, with the underlying question being can they really take care of themselves?
This blog will explain why it is important to consider moving them to an assisted living or residential care facility so they receive the care and attention they need, especially if they are resistant to the idea. By encouraging them to move to a safe and caring environment, you can often prevent the following physical risks your senior faces living alone from occurring:
With age, seniors find it progressively more difficult to be physically fit and active. Unfortunately they can find themselves facing a greater risk of falling by locking themselves in their homes and bathrooms, and then becoming progressively more disorientated, with no help or way out of the situation. Although there are many alert system options, these services still take time to reach your senior, and especially in the case of a fall, time can become increasingly valuable. It’s important to keep in mind, often when a fall occurs, the victim (your loved one) becomes too confused or hurt to actually use the device intended for the actual situation.
Running Errands alone:
Seniors can find it hard to run errands to supply their basic needs such as buying groceries, going to the bank, or even going to a routine doctor’s visit. These tasks become increasingly difficult when driving is involved. With the knowledge of visual impairment and declining mental capacity that naturally occurs with the aging process, it is important to understand the risks and issues associated with driving. Often seniors experience many painful symptoms when it comes to driving such as dizziness, headaches or joint pain which can lead to dangerous situations such as accidents or even extremely costly litigation if they are driving more frequently and minor accidents happen. Compounded with this is the normal human element of embarrassment, we all can relate to the minor accident, but as one ages there is an added feeling of responsibility by the senior and painful denial
Seniors many times can lose their appetite from the medication they are taking or just from the loneliness they may experience after a beloved spouse passes away – so it is important to be observant of their eating patterns and the amount of food your loved one has at home. A quick check of the contents of the refrigerator is really important and this is an easy tip to a bigger problem. In time, a lack of proper healthy nutritious diet increases the chances of developing more serious illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and often debilitating diabetes.
In time, living alone can cause an elderly person’s hygiene to decline. This may be because they develop a fear of falling in the shower or bath and therefore they choose to stop showering completely or because the task of doing laundry becomes too physically challenging for them. Sadly, many seniors living alone lose the drive to attend to their hygiene because without the natural “peer to peer” validation the motivation to look your best is just simply put aside.
It is important to weigh out the independence your elderly parent strives for with the unnecessary harm they are subject to living at home alone. Although you may have made a promise to never put your mom or dad into a nursing home, you have to keep their best interest in mind. If the best possible care is your priority, Senior Home Advocates is here to help.