5 Tips on How to Help Seniors Stay Safe When Living Alone
The aging population is swiftly increasing in the United States, and similar trends are being observed worldwide. Figures shared by the American Psychological Association reveal that 12 million senior citizens above the age of 65 are living alone. It’s natural to be concerned if you have senior parents or grandparents living by themselves. So, we gathered 7 tips on how to help seniors stay safe when living alone.
Seniors can stay safe when living alone with the help of numerous tech-savvy tools that will allow them to stay connected to emergency contacts. Security systems are also necessary to protect them against burglaries and break-ins. Also, alert systems can notify loved ones when seniors hurt themselves while alone. All these tips are important to ensure seniors stay safe and get timely help when needed.
Elderly individuals are increasingly vulnerable to numerous safety hazards. These vulnerabilities include break-ins and burglaries, tripping hazards, and accidents. Luckily, we’ve listed some mindful strategies and innovative devices below to effectively eliminate these challenges.
5 Tips To Help Seniors Stay Safe When Living Alone
Here are 5 simple ways senior citizens can help ensure their safety when living by themselves.
1. Regular Exercise and a Healthy Diet
Maintaining health and wellness is a formidable challenge for seniors, especially those that struggle with memory or a chronic illness. However, when living alone, seniors must ensure that they stay in good shape.
Staying healthy is important so seniors can always stay alert when living alone. They should be able to get out of the house if needed, such as in case of a fire. Seniors in good health will also remember to take their medications on time and call for help if needed.
Functional impairment can heighten the risk of accidental injuries. Seniors can also suffer from chronic illnesses and degenerative diseases that are triggered by inactivity.
Living alone can give rise to multiple health complications, such as cataracts, arthritis, and depression. The human body requires care, nutrition, and activity to maintain its strength and agility.
Hence, if you have elderly loved ones living alone, you must encourage them to stay active. We recommend signing them up for a senior exercise class or getting them to go on daily walks with a friend or two.
2. Staying Connected With Loved Ones
Distance corrodes relationships, especially when we don't make efforts to bridge the gaps. Luckily, technology allows us to meet virtually and overcome overwhelming distances to stay connected at all times.
Staying connected to seniors in your family who live alone is essential. Anxiety, stress, and depression are eager companions for those who live alone. Seniors who may struggle with depressive thoughts and anxiety need the support of a thriving social circle to stay safe when alone.
Luckily, all it takes is a simple call or occasional visits to keep in touch with your loved ones. Daily check-ins and long video calls can have a miraculous impact on their emotional and physical wellbeing.
You can help your elderly parents or grandparents embrace senior-friendly calling apps, like Ohana. Apps like these allow seniors to stay connected with their family members and friends with a simple, straightforward interface. They can also be used to contact loved ones in case of emergencies such as break-ins.
3. Invest in Wearable Alert Devices
Seniors who have chronic conditions require special attention and care. However, this can be difficult if they live one. To make it easier for them to stay safe and healthy, you can invest in wearable health devices.
A wearable medical device is a fabulous investment. Cutting-edge technologies power these devices, and they provide real-time health metrics on vital signs and symptoms. What's more, these devices allow doctors and family members to receive real-time information.
Investing in such a device can help seniors stay safe when alone. In case of any medical emergency, you’ll be alerted immediately and can get help in no time. Without these devices, you would have no way of knowing if help is needed unless contacted by your parent or grandparent – which isn’t always possible.
If you have a particularly vulnerable senior living alone, consider compiling a list of medications they need and other essential things to keep in mind. You hang this list on their refrigerator, so they don’t forget anything important.
If you have senior loved ones who are particularly sick but adamant about not leaving their homes, you can also consider getting a home nurse.
4. Eliminating Tripping Hazards
Tripping hazards and fall-related injuries are some of the biggest risks to seniors. Elderly individuals have frail bodies that cannot withstand too much damage.
Unfortunately, seniors who live alone have a significantly higher risk of tripping and falling. So, family members must actively work to prevent fall-related injuries by eliminating tripping hazards. Bathrooms, staircases, and slippery surfaces are all common hazards that can make seniors fall.
Grab bars are an effective way to ensure seniors have ample support in the bathroom or while climbing the stairs. It's also wise to invest in non-slip doormats and carpets. You should also consider upgrading in-home lighting fixtures with bright lights to ensure everything is well-lit.
Ideally, try eliminating the need to use stairs altogether. It's ideal for seniors to live on the ground floor and minimize possible staircase-related injuries.
5. Invest in Security Systems
The market is buzzing with a multitude of alert systems designed to make seniors independent and safe. Investing in a sophisticated home security system is an excellent way to help seniors stay safe when living alone.
If your elderly loved one is living alone, get a good security system installed. It’s important to choose one with an easy user interface as seniors tend to not be tech-savvy. So, look for one that can provide CCTV coverage and basic door locking features. However, make sure the seniors living alone will actually be able to make use of it!
Seniors are just as vulnerable, delicate, and frail as babies. They require care and protection but sometimes must live alone and independently.
While this may be concerning, there are ways you can ensure they stay safe when living alone too. With these 5 tips, you can rest assured that your loved one will be in good hands.