Elderly people living alone face numerous drawbacks ranging from their safety, well being and health to their psychological stability. Due to aging elderly people are at higher risk of falling down and hurting themselves. Loneliness, depression and memory loss becomes prominent as they age.
Elderly people generally fall often. Certain medical conditions may affect sense of balance and physical strength and are very common in elderly people, such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, household tasks requiring physical strength such as the use of a stool or a ladder are best left to non-seniors. While living with someone may not prevent a fall, it usually means that the victim of a fall gets immediate attention.
Seniors living alone are faced with financial frauds and a variety of scams. Lucrative fake offers that are clearly too good to be true arrive in their letterboxes or through email. Phone callers look for personal confidential information and administer a variety of con games that may dispossess seniors of their life savings at one shot. Even the Internet, which is so easily accessible and can connect a lonesome senior with the external world, can be the basis of e-mail messages that “phish” for personal information and make counterfeit offers. A companion can help monitor these scams. In addition, a senior living alone may find it expensive to live alone.
Nutrition and sustenance
Social interaction with other people makes it much more interesting to sit down for a complete meal. People living alone, especially elders, are less likely to prepare nutritious meals than those who share meals with others. They may decide on fast food options and quick snacks and empty calories, especially if they have a health condition that makes meal preparation an exhausting or difficult affair.
Elderly people living alone ignore minor medical conditions until they become serious and attain mammoth proportions. Seniors alone at home fail to identify life-threatening medical conditions and obtain suitable medical care.
Seniors experience a consistent decline in memory that may affect their capability to safely carry out household chores. Failure to turn off stoves, heaters, irons and other appliances that can cause house fires is more common in the elderly. Smokers who forget to put out cigarettes, pipes, and cigars may also be in danger. Forgetting to pay bills, perform tasks of basic hygiene, and to take medications on time and in appropriate doses are other concerns for memory-impaired people living alone.
In spite of these, older people who live alone express a keen desire to maintain their independence. Most of them fear being overly dependent on others and wish to continue to live alone despite the challenges they face. At TriBeCa Care, our caregivers engage in regular physical and mental activities and help the elderly stay connected with others and maintain their independence.
People returning home from a hospital stay, particularly after surgery, may benefit from having a discussion with our social workers or TriBeCa Care health care practitioners about any extra services that will be needed. Such services, which may include home health aides or visiting nurses, can help ensure that people resume living independently.
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