Growing older brings about a new set of challenges that are hard to predict and vary from person to person. In some people, this can be because of medical conditions, whereas in others it can be due to the decline of cognitive abilities. Either way, basic day-to-day tasks that were once commonsensical can now be difficult to accomplish and the very house you live in may pose as a concern for the safety of your loved one.
Despite this, living at home is something that many seniors prefer to senior living communities. This can either be due to a sense of familiarity, the presence of happy memories or due to the relationships they have with others in the community. Read on to find out more about the different challenges faced by seniors who live alone.
Tripping and Falling Hazards
Elders have a higher risk of falling or tripping at home. As compared to a younger adult, this is much more dangerous due to any existing medical conditions or just general decline in physical stature. It isn’t just messy wires or stairs that can be a tripping hazard, wet floors and uneven carpeting can just as easily lead to falls. Aside from the impact of the fall, it can also be a risk factor if the senior individual is unable to get up by themselves or contact for help.
Lack of Companionship and Loneliness
If your senior family member or loved one is living completely alone, it can be extremely lonely. Whether it is because their children have moved away or that they have lost a spouse or loved one, living alone without companionship can be extremely wearing on a person’s mental wellness. Their reluctance to move in with another family member or into a senior living community can also signify deeper psychological issues with the coping of a major life change.
Need for Assistance to Complete Daily Activities
Whether it is heavy groceries, travelling to appointments, or just the general maintenance of a big house, these are errands that can take a toil on a person, especially if they do not have help. In the event of seniors who are suffering from early stage memory issues, it can also be that they complete forget about certain errands that need to be completed.
One of the main concerns will also be the ability to prepare and cook nutritious and balanced meals for themselves. Not only is this important to their general upkeep of health, but the process of preparing a meal can easily led to so many different challenges like cross contamination, fire hazards, and others.
Remembering Medication Dosage and Schedule
Whether it is because of Alzheimer’s disease or fatigue, sometimes people can forget to take their medication or mix up the different dosages. This is especially worrying if there are multiple prescriptions to be taken at fixed times for different chronic diseases. Missing a dosage or accidentally taking too much can lead to dire consequences.
If you are worried about a senior who is living at home for a short-term period for whatever reasons, respite care can be a viable option to ensure that they get the help they need. Furthermore, it can also be an introductory, experiential stay for them before they give consideration to longer term senior living options.