Older adults may wish to spend their senior living years independently in a comfortable environment with familiar surroundings. Some wish to spend their golden years hanging out with old-time friends and folks, while others simply want to chill and relax in their neighborhoods. However, while living alone sounds tempting with all the perks like privacy, an aging parent living alone may bring about certain dangers and risks as well.
Your loved ones may require assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, and more. Without a caregiver or assistant around to provide help when needed, they may find difficulties with completing certain day-to-day tasks, from sorting out medication to simply having a companion to pass time. In this post, we talk about whether it is safe for your aging parent to live alone, and some considerations you should take note of before letting your aging parent live independently.
Lack of Help
This is one of the concerning reasons why it is unsafe for an aging parent to live alone. Simply put, when your loved ones suffer from an accidental fall and need help getting back up, they will have no one to turn to if they’re living alone. Besides, no one will know that they’ve landed a hard fall unless they sound out – and the worse of all, the injuries that accompany the fall may be severe but your loved ones could brush it off thinking it would be fine.
Higher Risks of Accidents
The lack of help in a household when living independently also means that your loved ones are highly prone to injuries suffered from possible accidents and hazards around the house. An aging parent may suffer from poor eyesight and their bones become more brittle as they age, making hazards even more dangerous for your loved ones living alone. Keep this point in mind as you decide on your accommodation arrangements with your parents!
More than anything, humans are social creatures and require some sort of social interaction from time to time to maintain their overall well-being. Besides the physical downsides of living alone, the psychological mind can also be impacted if you’re not careful. Being alone for a prolonged period can be challenging due to the lack of companionship and physical exercise.
Your loved ones may claim that they’re perfectly fine with living alone, but the cons of social isolation will kick in with time. If living together is not an option, do check in with your aging parents from time to time, visit them regularly, or introduce a pet or helper so they’ll be occupied!
Depression and Anxiety
Following the effects of social isolation are depression and anxiety. Depression usually stems from a loss of appetite, motivation, or energy, while anxiety can be identified by shortness of breath, insomnia, or even panic attacks.
Anxiety and depression can degenerate and lead to mental issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia. When living alone, there is a high likelihood that your loved ones will not identify the conditions by themselves, which is why a helper or family member should be around ideally to catch early signs.
Consider our senior assisted living option at Seaton Hagerstown where your loved ones can enjoy superior care, amenities, services, and exclusive senior lifestyle programs with neighbors and friends! Participate actively in the friendly retirement community so your loved ones won’t feel lonely in their senior years. For more information on the senior living programs, contact Seaton Hagerstown for a brief or to schedule a community tour!