Are You An Aging Single? Here's How To Feel More Secure
Growing older can be a frightening prospect if you aren't surrounded by family and friends that can watch out for you. However, there are a few things you can do to feel more safe and secure. With the right systems in place, you may be able to stay in your own home. In other cases, it might be best to make other living arrangements. Here are some ideas that may give you peace of mind.
Even if you don't need home health care, you can still hire a service to send someone to your home on a daily basis to help you with cooking and cleaning. Having someone drop in every day, even if it is just for an hour or two, can make you feel more secure. Plus, you'll have extra eyes watching for signs of illness, malnutrition, and other problems that can slip up on you.
Malnutrition could become a big problem as you get older. If you develop limited mobility, memory problems, loss of appetite, or depression, you may not prepare and eat nutritious meals. It's estimated that as many as 38 percent of the elderly living outside of nursing homes are malnourished or at risk. Having a home helper monitor your meals and nutrition could keep you from getting weak and debilitated from a poor diet.
Medical alarms connect you with the outside world, and these are very useful if you live alone. Some systems call you every day to make sure you are okay. Other alarms have sensors that detect when you fall, even if you are unable to push the button. The features on these systems vary according to what you need and are willing to pay. You can get reminders to take your medication, have alarms monitor for smoke and intruders, and even get a mobile alarm to wear when you leave the house. Some of these systems require a monthly fee if you want constant connection to a call center, while others just require an upfront cost.
A medical alarm not only gives you peace of mind, it could actually save your life if you suffer a heart attack or fall. There is a direct link between how long it takes to receive help after you fall and the risk of death. If you are found in an hour or less, there is a 92 percent chance of survival. The survival rate drops to 33 percent if it takes 12-24 hours for someone to find you.
Assisted Living Facilities
If you have a medical condition, limited mobility, or need to take vital medications, moving into an assisted living facility may be the best choice. You'll be able to live independently in a home or apartment, but there will always be staff on duty to tend to your care if you need it. Medication errors are a serious concern as you get older. Memory issues may cause you to forget to take your medications, or you might take them more often than prescribed. Supervision of medications is the primary reason many people enter an assisted living facility. Nearly 86 percent of residents need help taking medications, but the staff can help with bathing, dressing, and transfers from bed to wheelchair too.
Assisted living facilities are the perfect combination of normal living and supervised care. You'll get as much help as you need, and there will always be someone around in case of an emergency. Some of these facilities have upscale amenities and active social programs, so you can continue to lead an active lifestyle even if you have trouble getting around on your own.
Senior Living Communities
If you are healthy and active, you may not need the security of living in an assisted living facility. In that case, a senior living community may be the best option for you. These retirement communities are home to other seniors facing the same aging issues as you. While no one there will take care of you, residents in these communities tend to form friendships and watch out for each other.
Living in a supportive community is a good option as you grow older, especially if you are isolated where you live now. Plus, you can choose a community that is very active with social programs, fitness classes, and travel excursions, so you can enjoy your senior years with like-minded friends. It not only makes your life more fun, it can even slow down age-related memory loss. A Harvard study indicated that seniors with an active social life had half the rate of mental decline as seniors who were isolated.
By choosing options like the ones above, you won't have to be fearful even though you live alone. Maintaining social contacts and feeling secure will add quality to your life, and remove worry about not getting help when you need it most.