As we advance in years, most of us still prefer to live alone as we do not want to shoulder the financial burden of moving into a senior living community. There are also others who remain adamant about living alone due to the perpetual social stigmas associated with senior residential homes or concerns over losing their sense of independence.
However, living alone for seniors can be worrying for your family and friends due to safety and several other reasons. It is important to reevaluate the risks and costs of living alone. Here are the top reasons and concerns why seniors shouldn’t live alone.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety is generally a feeling of unease from excessive fear and nervousness. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal discomfort, heart palpitations and chest pain. Anxiety is a common issue in older people as they may suffer from chronic medical conditions or worry excessively about death. Living alone can exacerbate the feeling of anxiety as they don’t have someone to talk to regularly to ease their worries.
Depression is a mood disorder which can include feelings of anger, sadness and loss, disrupting one’s daily activities. Depression is also a common issue faced by seniors living alone as they lack a supportive social network and their symptoms of depression often go unnoticed.
Risk of Accidental Overdoses
If your loved one suffers from an onset of memory problems or mild dementia, they might face problems with taking their prescribed medication. A senior can either forget to take their medications or even forget that they had taken it, resulting in a risk of medication overdose. While a second dosage isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, taking excessive dosages can be dangerous and life threatening for your family member who is living alone.
Seniors living alone who previously have someone preparing their meals are more likely to be afflicted with malnutrition. This is especially so if they have existing medical conditions or physical disabilities which makes it more challenging to prepare food themselves. Malnutrition in seniors can cause several health implications including:
- Decreased bone mass and muscle weakness which can increase likelihood of falls and bone fractures
- Increased risk of hospitalization
- Slow or poor healing of wounds
- Weakened immune system which increases infection risks
Generally, falls in older adults are the prevalent cause of injuries globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, at least three million older adults are treated at the emergency departments for fall injuries yearly. For people who are living alone, any occurrence of a fall or an injury is a great cause for concern since there isn’t anyone around who can provide help immediately.
If you worry for your loved one who is living alone, do consider installing some of the useful gadgets that are designed to keep seniors safe and sound at home.
Get the Best Care in Discovery Village At The Forum
If your loved one or family member has been diagnosed with a medical condition that worsens over time, and they may soon require assisted living care, do consider reaching out to us to find out more about our senior assisted living program. At Discovery Village At the Forum, residents in our assisted living community regularly receive personalized help in medical management, extended care for medical conditions, housekeeping and transportation. Contact us today to learn more about our senior living options and programs.