Medical Alerts and Living Alone
February 21, 2016
One is the loneliest number – or is it?
They say one is the loneliest number. But try telling that to seniors like 89-year-old Lawrence and you'll get an argument.
"That's one thing I can do, is just live alone, and that's what I do," the San Franciscan told the Huffington Post.
And he's not alone in his vehemence to go solo. According to an AARP study, 90 percent of people over 65 want to stay in their home as long as possible. Even if they will live alone.
According to the latest census figures, about 36 percent of women and 19 percent of men ages 65 and older live alone - in many cases causing their loved ones much anguish.
The worries are staggering: What if they fall? Are they eating enough? Are they safe? Are they paying their bills on time?
"The ordinary challenges of growing old ...can become extraordinary hardships for someone who spends most of the time alone, sociologist Eric Klinenberg writes in his book, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.
There are many things we can do to help our loved ones live alone safely. "If we want them to remain safe and healthy, it's important to make sure their environment is appropriate to their physical needs," claims caringforagingparents.com
Among their suggestions: getting a medical alert system. We agree. Personal Response systems deliver state-of-the-art technology with old-fashioned kindness from our monitoring centers who are on duty 24/7. We can alert paramedics, family members and/or friends.
There are other procedures that supplement a medical alert system for those living alone. Caringforagingparents.com offers the following suggestions:
* Are there stairs at the entrance? Is there a sturdy railing? Would a ramp be more appropriate (especially for individuals using a wheelchair)?
* Eliminate tripping hazards. Are there scatter rugs or electric cords on the floor? Is the environment cluttered? Is there more than one flooring type? Is there a smooth transition between flooring?
* Is there adequate lighting? Consider installing brighter lights and night lights for individuals who have to get up in the middle of the night.
* Consider a service or Meals on Wheels for seniors who are unable to prepare meals.
* Seniors who are unable to manage their finances can hire companies who can help them manage bill payments.
*Are they able to clean and do laundry? If not, consider a housekeeping service.
* One of the most important aspects of home safety for elderly is bathroom safety. The combination of water, soap and hard surfaces requires careful attention. Is your loved one able to get into and out of bathtub safely? If not, install grab bars and bathtub rails and make sure the bath tub and shower floors have a non-skid mat.
These ideas, along with one of the appropriate medical alert systems
offered by Personal Response, are sure to ease your worries. After all, we want our loved ones to be safe – and happy. And then, one doesn't need to be the loneliest number.