As people age, they often become more set in their ways and prefer to stay in their own home rather than enter a nursing home. Older adults will likely want to maintain their independence and live in familiar surroundings. However, this can be a cause for concern for family members, as the health and safety of an aging loved one is a top priority. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your senior loved one is safe in their home. We've taken the liberty of listing some safety tips for seniors who live alone, so you can have peace of mind knowing they are safe and healthy.
1. Be Prepared For Emergencies
For seniors living alone, it is important to be prepared for emergencies. Make sure your aging loved one keeps a list of emergency numbers near the phone, including numbers for family, friends, and emergency services. It is also a good idea to have social services, emergency services, or a primary care doctor on speed dial in case of an accident or health issue.
Many seniors have limited mobility, which can put them at a higher risk for slips and falls. You might want to consider getting your elderly family member a personal alarm system or wearable device that can summon medical assistance in the case of a fall.
Finally, you can help your senior sign up for medication reminders through an app or service on their phone, or set up an alarm clock for them if they don't feel confident in their use of technology.
2. Check In Regularly
For seniors living alone, it's important to stay in touch with loved ones. Encourage your older adult to check in regularly with family and friends. This way, they can let you know where they are going and when they'll be back, so you will see that they are safe. If something happens and they don't come home when they're supposed to, you can call the authorities or go looking for them. When seniors stay connected with their families, they have a better chance of receiving help and support when they need
3. Stay Active And Social
As people age, it's common for them to pull back from daily activities and spend more time alone. After retirement, seniors face challenges like losing the daily structure that work provides, social circles dwindling as friends and family move away, or reduced mobility. These obstacles are often the reason that seniors find themselves becoming increasingly isolated. While some amount of solitude can be enjoyable, too much isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.
Seniors need to find ways to stay active and connected to the outside world. Joining a club or gym, taking up a new hobby, or volunteering are all great ways to meet new people and stay engaged in the community. Encourage your elderly loved one to stay active by taking daily walks with a friend or attending a senior exercise class. They can socialize with others by joining a book club or volunteering at a local community organization.
Staying active and social is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and it can help seniors to receive the support they need.
4. Keep A Safe Home
Seniors often face unique challenges when it comes to home safety. Many seniors struggle with mobility issues, making it difficult to get around the house or reach items that are out of reach. Others may be hard of hearing, making it difficult to hear a burglar breaking into the home. To help keep seniors safe, it's essential to make some home modifications. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Keep their home well-lit - Ensure that your senior's home is well-lit both inside and out. You might even want to install motion sensor lights if needed.
- Make sure your senior's home is secure - Advise them to lock doors and windows, even when they're at home. It could also be beneficial to invest in a security system if you can.
- Do some decluttering - Spend some time in your older adult's home to get rid of anything that could cause them to trip or fall.
- Keep safety appliances in good condition - Make sure the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Try to visit your senior's home routinely to test them and change the batteries as needed.
By taking some simple precautions, you can continue making life easier for your elderly loved one and ensure that their homes are safe places to live.
5. Ask For Help
To maintain their dignity and independence, some seniors may be reluctant to ask for help. It's important that you take notice of when your aging loved one cannot live alone without assistance, and don't be afraid to ask for help. As much as you may want to devote your time to giving back to your aging parent or loved one, it can be difficult to manage their care while balancing your busy schedule.
There are many resources available to assist you, like senior home care. At Gallagher Home Care Services, we provide personal care services for seniors who prefer to live at home. A home care provider can assist with everything from meal preparation and bathing to medication management and taking vitals. These in-home care services keep seniors comfortable in their own homes while promoting health and safety.
With senior home care, older adults can still enjoy living at home while getting the compassionate care and support they need. If your aging loved one needs assistance, schedule a free in-home evaluation with Gallagher Home Care Services to determine the perfect custom plan for you and your loved one.
Gallagher Home Care is a Medicare-certified home health agency that serves across 8 Pennsylvania counties. Our employees are dedicated to providing exceptional, compassionate care to seniors while allowing them to keep their independence. We provide companion care, housekeeping, home safety monitoring, and even provide free in-home evaluations for new families. If you're looking for the best care available for your aging loved one, contact the team at Gallagher Home Care and schedule your first care consultation with us today.